North-West Eagles are the first ever winners of the Bristol Under 14 Junior Rugby League competition, after a dramatic finals day at Aretians RFC on Sunday July 10. A big and vocal crowd of parents, friends and Bristol Sonics’ open age players gathered at Aretians – the home of the Sonics – to watch the fourth and final tournament in this year’s inaugural Bristol Under 14 Junior Rugby League competition.The assembled crowd was treated to an excellent afternoon of junior Rugby League, with three close games deciding the outcome of the coveted Bristol Junior Rugby League competition. All three teams were kitted out in smart new playing strips provided by funding from Wesport, Access Sport, the Rugby League Foundation, IP Performance and MPD Print Solutions.In the opening game of the afternoon, league leaders Southern Storm strengthened their position at the top-of-the-table thanks to a nailbiting 22-20 win over Chipping Sodbury RFC-based Northern Hawks.Storm’s victory meant that title rivals North-West Eagles would have to win their two remaining games – including a top-of-the-table shoot-out with the Storm – to take home the trophy.The North West Eagles, who are coached by Bristol Sonics first team players Dom Swann and Ross Bergin, held off a spirited Northern Hawks comeback to win their first game of the afternoon 24-20.That left the Eagles and the Storm to battle it out in the final game of the afternoon for the Bristol Junior Rugby League title.In an absorbing, end-to-end contest, the Eagles outplayed their cross-city rivals to record a comprehensive 36-20 win and spark scenes of jubilant celebration from their assembled supporters.After the final whistle, all three teams were awarded medals and Bristol Sonics Junior Rugby League t-shirts by Bristol Junior Rugby League Chairman Stafford Lloyd. After all three sides had been given a round of applause, Lloyd presented the winner’s trophy to North West Eagles’ captain Ben Waterman, amidst wild cheers from his team-mates.Stafford Lloyd said: ‘I’d like to congratulate all the players on a wonderful afternoon of Rugby League. To say that very few had played Rugby League until eight weeks ago shows how much potential talent there is in Bristol. I’d like to thank the local rugby union clubs who have accommodated or training sessions and junior festivals this year, and all the coaches and volunteers who have worked so hard. The first Bristol Junior Rugby League competition was a huge success.’Many of the youngsters involved in the Bristol Junior Rugby League competition will now go on to play for the Bristol Sonics Under 14 Academy side, which begins training next week.The Bristol Junior Rugby League Competition is organized and run by trained volunteers from Bristol Sonics Rugby League, the city’s community club. The competition was made possible thanks to funding grants from Wesport, Access Sport and the Rugby League Foundation, as well as sponsorship from MDP and IP Performance.

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