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Middlesbrough boys join schools foundation ‘Lions’ in north west tour

lion9An all-star squad of rugby players has come together to face challenging opposition in the north west.

The Emmanuel Schools Foundation ‘Lions’ are selected each year from the best players from each of ESF’s four sister schools in Gateshead, Blyth, Middlesbrough and Thorne, near Doncaster.

The Year 11 players selected from The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham, were Mark Ems, Jake Spark, Isaac Trees and King’s player of the tour Riley McPhillips.

After a match at independent Durham School, instead of their usual Scottish tour this year the team crossed the Pennines to play against Keswick School and Keswick RUFC, in Cumbria.

Learning lessons from the game against Durham, they were able to put their skills to the test in a closer match against Keswick School, although they were defeated 14-10.

After a short break from playing and training in which the boys got a chance to go gill scrambling and dragon boat racing, they faced Keswick RUFC in typical North Lakes driving rain.

Sadly the team returned to the north east without a win, but Chris Lynch, head of PE at The King’s Academy, said:

This was one of the best group of players we’ve taken on tour. They mixed and got on really well from the outset.

They met at 11am then faced Durham School at 4pm without having played together before so that was a tough match, but they definitely learned from it and showed a lot of progress through the tour.”

King’s student Mark added:

It was hardest against Durham. They were a good team but we had some good individual performances. Keswick School were well organised, but I think we played well considering what little time we’ve had together as a team.”

Captain David Moores, from Trinity Academy, said:

It’s been really good. We had a great set of players and although we’re all from different schools we gelled really well. They were tough games but I was pleased with the performances.”