Double delight for Brooksbank

Brooksbank Year 10 students celebrate their win at the RFL Champion Schools Finals
Brooksbank Year 10 students celebrate their win at the RFL Champion Schools Finals

The Brooksbank School claimed national glory at the RFL Champion Schools Finals in Warrington last week.

The Year 9 and 10 sides from the Elland-based academy won their respective finals to claim a double swoop for the Calderdale school.

Both sides are coached by PE teacher Damian Ball who has helped the school reach 11 national finals in the last 12 years.

Ball is a former Halifax RLFC forward and also worked for the club as assistant coach during Matt Calland’s tenure as head coach.

The Year 9 side battled for a hard-fought 16-6 victory over St Peter’s Orrell while the Year 10 boys narrowly beat Wade Deacon from Widnes 20-14.

In the Year 9 final, the Brooksbank side controlled the game from the first whistle despite some strong defence from St Peters.

Brooksbank were seeking revenge after they were knocked out at the semi-final stage by St Peters last year.

In a tough affair the Calderdale school produced some big hits with two St Peter’s Orrell players forced off with injury on 10 minutes.

Brooksbank managed to establish a 10-6 lead at the break with two tries from Harvey Oldroyd.

The second half followed a similar pattern as Brooksbank dominated proceedings without putting a large number of points on the board.

Oldroyd managed to complete his hat-trick and deservedly picked up the man of the match award.

The final whistle signalled the Year 9’s first national final win. The victory completes a historic treble for the side who won the Calderdale Cup and the Yorkshire Cup earlier this year.

In the Year 10 final, Brooksbank were forced to overcome an eight-point deficit as they fell behind early on against Wade Deacon.

The side fought hard and by half time had levelled the scores with tries from Felix Lorimer and James Davison-Thackery.

Jack Lumb scored a fine try in the second half to send Brooksbank on their way to victory.

Davison-Thackary then went over for his second score of the game to give his side a two-try cushion.

Wade Deacon scored the final points of the contest but Brooksbank held on and were able to celebrate a victory with their Year 9 counterparts.

Matthew Nicholson’s performance earned him the man of the match award.

Running up to the national competition, Brooksbank had three year groups win the Yorkshire Cup.

The school’s Year 10 team beat Malet Lambert, from Hull, 36-18 to claim the trophy.

The Year 9 side lifted the Yorkshire Cup with a resounding 50-6 win over Archbishop Sentamu Academy.

And Brooksbank’s Year 7s won a local derby against Ryburn Valley High with a score of 20-8.