The Leeds Rugby Foundation, Leeds City Council and Hunslet Hawks all joined in partnership to give the Year 11 Leeds & Hunslet Final a venue that the players will always remember as their final year of schooling draws to a close.
Hunslet Hawks Community Team hosted the event at the John Charles Centre for Sport, previously known as the South Leeds Stadium. The final involved two well established Rugby League school teams, Cockburn High School and Brigshaw High School.
The first half was a tense affair with uncharacteristic handling errors coming from both teams. But Cockburn broke the dead lock with Leeds Rhinos Scholarship player; stand-off, Jamie Graves, who impressed throughout the game, sprinting 80 metres to score the first try of the game. Hooker Daniel Wheatley successfully converted the try.
Brigshaw responded by putting a lot pressure on the Cockburn defence but to no avail. Once Cockburn gained back possession, hard running second row forward Dale Bateson linked up with Graves to score his team's second try of the game. Wheatley successfully converted the try.
Brigshaw finally got their just reward for their efforts, with a try from centre Shane Plunkett who ran a smart line to gain a try for his team.
Plunkett's try lifted the Brigshaw confidence and they began to play some expansive rugby but the Cockburn defence stood strong. It was a tactical kick by Brigshaw scrum half Alex Hodby that gave Plunkett an opportunity to chase and complete his brace of tries for Brigshaw. The try was successfully converted by fullback Ross Hope.
As the half time hooter sounded the score line was 12-10 to Cockburn.
In the second half Cockburn dominated the play and took the game to another level. Leeds Rhinos Scholarship Player Jordan Baldwinson became a real threat to the Brigshaw defence and burst the line from the base of the scrum to sprint 60 meters before offloading to Graves to complete his brace of tries for his team. Wheatly successfully converted the try.
Cockburn scored a further 18 unanswered points, with tries scored by Leeds Rhinos Scholarship Players centre Jonathan Hall, prop Jose Kenga and loose forward Baldwinson. Wheatley was also impressive with his boot converting all the tries.
Brigshaw showed a lot of pride in their performance with the standout performers being props John Gibson and James Conlon who worked tirelessly all afternoon. Plunkett was always a threat in the centres too.
The Final Score Cockburn: 36 Brigshaw: 10
Hunslet Hawks Community Development Office Steve Parnell commented: "I think it is fantastic that partnerships can come together to give up and coming players an opportunity to play at a fantastic venue like the John Charles Centre for Sport. With the skills that were on show it is a testimony to the development work that goes on through Leeds Schools and amateur clubs within the city"