Castleford Academy seal hat-trick of Wembley wins
CASTLEFORD ACADEMY beat Orrell school St Peter’s 16-4 to maintain their dominance of Wembley’s annual Stephen Mullaney memorial curtain-raiser.
Captain N Booth and loose-forward T Czmeiduch were the inspiration behind Castleford’s third successive victory in the boys’ Year 7 Champion Schools showpiece. This is now the seventh time the school has appeared at the new Wembley stadium since its reopening in 2007, making them not only the most successful school in the modern era, but also holders of the record for the most appearances at the National Stadium by any Rugby League team.
St Peter’s – who lost to Castleford in last year’s final – began strongly, but a superb defensive effort kept them out and the West Yorkshire team counter-attacked to go ahead through a solo try by Booth – the stand-off dummying to kick, dashing through a gap and stretching over to touch down – which he also converted.
St Peter’s hit back through a close-range try by Brown to make it 6-4 at the break, but Castleford dominated the second half, after an early scare. They extended their lead when Czmeiduch proved too strong for the defence from a pass by Booth. The big forward added his second try near the end of the game, again from a pass by Booth who completed the scoring with his second conversion. Booth shared the man-of-the-match award with St Peter’s full-back J Winstanley.
The school also had 5 more teams in this years National Finals. The Year 11 boys played Brooksbank in May. This was their 5th National Final appearance in 5 years, a feat never before achieved. The other finalists were the Year 10 Boys, Year 7, 9 & 10 Girls. As well as the Year 7 boys title, the Academy also won the Year 7 girls’ final, with a 50-28 victory over Malet Lambert, of Hull. F Cowell scored 5 tries in a dominant display for the young girls.
PE Teacher and trip leader Mr Ryan Lloyd said ‘We have once again managed to get 6 teams in one academic year to National finals. To have one team reach this elite stage is incredible, but 6 just highlights the talent we have within the school. We would like to thank all the families and friends of the students, as well as the local community for all their efforts in fundraising to make this possible. To bring the students to London for these finals costs around £16,000, all of which is fundraised. The students and staff work extremely hard over the year to make this possible, which includes training and fundraising throughout the Summer holidays.’
The Academy also picked up two further awards over the weekend. ‘National School of the Year’ went to Castleford Academy, with Mr Ryan Lloyd also picking up the ‘Outstanding contribution to schools Rugby League’ award. Since 2005, Castleford Academy has had 62 teams in 13 years reach the National Finals, which is an unbelievable record.