Grassroots Rugby League news round-up

The National Conference League’s inaugural Rhino RL Team of the Month award has gone to Warrington outfit Crosfields.

The Soap have scooped the accolade for March 2022 after having won all four of their Division Two fixtures under new coach Matt Wilson, who has switched from Rylands Sharks.

Crosfields accounted for Barrow Island (28-18), Dewsbury Moor Maroons (26-16) and Clock Face Miners (28-22) before recovering from 20-6 adrift Hunslet Warriors to prevail 36-20.

Wilson steered his side to a 100 per cent return despite having to integrate a number of new players – and having to conduct pre-season training on a couple of five-a-side soccer pitches.

NCL Administrator Alan Smith said: “Crosfields are a deserving first winner of this award after a winning start, underpinned by immaculate administration and media information responses. The award encompasses everything we would hope to see from an exceptionally run club.”

Crosfields – and future winners – will receive a £100 voucher to spend on Rhino’s sports equipment.



The Armed Forces, who had been pegged back by the Teachers to 10-10 at the interval after having led 10-0 on 25 minutes, dominated the second period to close as comfortable winners of Wednesday’s competition opener at Saddleworth.

A spilled ball by Anna Mary Davies, after a raid involving Ellie Turner, Amy Boardman and Brogan Churm, left the Teachers regretting an early missed opportunity, and the Forces, after Jenna Greening went close, responded with tries in a five-minute spell for Jodie Mills and Kaiya Glynn.

The Teachers, though, restored parity through Beth Pickenall and Davies, Aimee Wood improving the second effort.

But the sin binning of Davies seven minutes into the second period for a high tackle proved to be pivotal, the Forces grabbing three tries in her absence.

Ella Donnelly claimed the first after incisive work by Skye Jackson, Greening dotted down, and Emily Carlisle raced in; and three conversions by Glynn helped forge a daunting 18-point buffer.

Alexandra Simpson was tacked into touch when the Teachers sought to force their way back into the contest, and the Armed Forces closed on top when Alex Barnes crashed over and added her second goal.

ARMED FORCES: Olivia Critchley Peddle, Jodie Mills, Kaiya Glynn, Annie Beth Allen, Linda McLean; Chelsea Greasley, Jenna Greening; Alice Fisher, Emily Carlisle, Jess Bryan, Sian McLaughlin, Anne Marie Sayle, Ella Donnelly. Subs: Lou Pritchard, Alex Barnes, Skye Jackson, Katie Johnson.

TEACHERS: Anna Mary Davies, Beth Pickenall, Becki Davies, Alexandra Simpson, Fran Copley; Ellie Turner, Amy Boardman; Alisha Clayton, Charley Blackburn, Jamie Blazejewski, Danielle Solly, Brogan Churm, Claire Collins. Subs: Aimee Wood, Sarah Taylor, Georgia Taylor, Vicky Rosevere.

Referee: Sam Houghton

Forthcoming fixtures
Wednesday 11 May 2022
England Universities v Great Britain Teachers (at Lock Lane, 7.00pm).
Wednesday 1 June 2022
England Universities v UK Armed Forces (at Leigh Miners Rangers, 7.00pm).


Thornhill Trojans are holding a reunion on Saturday 7 May to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their victory over Methley Royals in a classic Pennine League Andrew Bennett Memorial Trophy Final.

The Dewsbury outfit held off a rousing rally by the Royals on Monday 7 May 2012 to prevail 34-20 in a thriller at Dewsbury Rams’ Tetley’s Stadium.

The reunion will be held at the Trojans’ Thornhill Sports & Community Centre base, from 7.30pm; all are welcome.


John Mooney, whose book ‘ALL for NOTHING’, based on the amateur scene in Hull, was published to wide acclaim last year, has had an interesting email exchange from a Rugby League fanatic in Holland.

Hans Modderman, of Papendrecht, regularly crossed the channel several decades ago with Dutch team Drechtstreek, and to play in the Hull League and remembers: “After our game against Ace in Hull in April 1987, against Hull University in March 1988 in Papendrecht, and our tour to Hull in April 1989, everyone wanted to come to Holland as there was finally the opportunity to play Rugby Leage abroad and close by.

“During 1989/90 we had visits from Hull City Transport (including Roy Holdstock of Hull KR), Cheltenham, Ealing, Lombard, Blacksmith Arms, Crossgates of Leeds, Deighton Woolpack and Jesmond. And in March 1989 we had our first international Rugby League tournament on Dutch soil with two English, two French and two Dutch clubs.”

Sporting memories often revolve around off-field events rather than action on the pitch and Modderman is no different. He recalls: “After training in the mid-70s the Ace players regularly took me to The Whalebone at Wincolmlee. This was certainly a pub with character. A friend of mine used to say ‘the grottier the better’ and that was certainly the case.

“I also remember Johnny Williams, the physio of Hull KR. Ace also had some sort of contract with him and in case of injury you could go and see him at Anlaby Road. At one time I had an ankle problem and went to  see him. He used some ointment called Capsolin. This stuff was agony and felt as if your leg was on fire. I almost rang the Hull Fire Brigade.

“Whenever I came to Hull, after my move back to Holland, I always brought my rugby kit and searched for a game as there was always a team short of a player. In the early 1980s I was going to play for Ace on the Saturday. The Friday before I was with my brother-in-law in Prospect Street, stepped off the pavement and was hit by a double-decker bus which just pulled into the bus stop. I managed to get to Hull Royal Infirmay and ended up with stitches in my head and a bandage. The next day I obviously could not play but went to watch the game. The comment was: ‘It was good rugby training though.’

“I also remember going into the Empress with my brother-in-law. Bob Colgrave was the landlord, it was his birthday, the door was closed and we drank until all hours.

“After our curtain-raiser against Stelrad and the match between Hull KR and Widnes at Craven Park in April 1989 Eddie Rolmanis took a photograph of Terry and myself with Martin Offiah, Jonathan Davies and David Bishop which appeared in Humberside Rugby League Focus. They were happy days!”


The successful Community Rugby League Raffle, which was revived last year after a hiatus contributed to by the Covid-19 lockdowns, is to be repeated.

The Rugby Football League is again working alongside Play Fund Win in an initiative which is certain to help supportive amateur clubs raise vital funds and which will, once more, be operated digitally.

Grassroots outfits will be able to make the most of the opportunity through to the beginning of October, in the build-up to the Rugby League World Cup. As before, 70 per cent of each participant’s £5 entry fee will be donated to the amateur club or foundation of their choice. The remaining 30 per cent helps form the prize pot and also covers the operating cost of staging the draw.

Entrants will be entered into two prize draws. The first is a national, sport-wide raffle offering opportunities to win some fantastic prizes, including tickets to this year’s Rugby League World Cup Wheelchair and Men’s and Women’s double-header finals. The second draw is ring-fenced only for those who select each community club, and features a jackpot which increases by £1 from every ticket sold.

The split draw structure, RFL bosses stress, ensures that every club has a winner, as well as clubs themselves benefitting from the majority of the entry fees.

The entry process simply involves visiting and selecting the club to benefit from the raffle entry fee.

Marc Lovering, the RFL’s Director of Participation and Development, said: “Last year’s draw was a tremendous success, raising thousands of pounds for teams across the UK. I have no doubt that this year will be even bigger and better as we strive to raise as much money as possible for community Rugby League to put the sport’s grassroots in an even better place following this year’s World Cup.

“The combination of exciting money-can’t-buy prizes – and a guaranteed winner at each club – will, no doubt, be attractive to many of our community clubs and raise a considerable sum for them.”

Dan Schofield, CEO, Play Fund Win, added: “We were thrilled with the response to last year’s Community Rugby League Raffle, with over 100 community clubs benefitting with funds from the draw and some very happy prize winners. I’m delighted we’ve been given the opportunity to build on the success of last year’s draw and to work with the RFL again in 2022.

“I’d encourage all clubs, and their members and supporters, to really get behind the draw and harness our digital fundraising platform to raise essential revenue to help support the community game.”

Clubs can, in addition, stage their own Play Fund Win draws and continue to fundraise using the simple, licensed digital raffle platform. Anyone wishing to learn more about staging their own draws as a regular income stream should visit


The Rugby Football League’s OuRLeague service will back up its live coverage of Saturday’s National Conference League Premier Division derby between Wath Brow Hornets and Egremont Rangers with two more attractive fixtures before May is out.

Hunslet Club Parkside and West Hull will be in the spotlight on Saturday 30th April in another key top-flight battle, and the Division Two match involving Dewsbury Moor Maroons and Barrow Island has been selected for screening on Saturday 21 May.

OuRLeague is set to cover some ten NCL matches, including the Grand Final on 8 October, this year.



Waterhead backed up the previous Sunday’s BARLA National Cup Final triumph over Sharlston with a Good Friday victory against Rangers in arguably the most prestigious of local cup competitions.

Saddleworth’s Charlie McManus was narrowly wide with a penalty attempt midway through the first half, while Waterhead’s James Perks was held out shortly afterwards.

Rangers went in at the break 2-0 ahead, McManus hitting the target with the last act of the opening period after the Warriors had been sanctioned for a ball steal, but Waterhead nosed in front two minutes after the resumption, Ciaran Dean pouncing on a Kegan Brennan grubber.

Jenson Hamilton stretched the lead on 48 minutes, getting first to Gareth Owen’s reverse kick, with Brennan adding the extras. And it was Hamilton who thwarted Alfie Gosling, as the hour approached, with a superb tackle.

A Perks try, converted by Brennan, stretched Waterhead’s lead to 14 points, and that was enough to snare the silverware, despite Billy England’s late touchdown for Saddleworth.

WARRIORS: Jenson Hamilton, Evan Campbell, Ciaran Dean, Matthew Holland, Mason Young; Gareth Owen, Kegan Brennan; Phil Joy, James Perks, Andrew Joy, Niall Dunnington, Mitchell Birch, Danny Bridge. Subs: Dale Lowe, Harry Maders, Martin Sarsfield, Jake O’Grady.

RANGERS: Gavin Dodd, Jaimie Dalloway, Jay Taylor, Evan Padry, Alfie Gosling; Matt Whitehead, Charlie McManus; Jimmy Buckley, Steven Neild, Rhys Wareing, Adam Jeffrey, Billy England, Jack Kenway. Subs: Hayden Enziano, Chris Hough, Joe Molden, Gareth Morgan.

Referee: Pete Smith.


Richard Knight took his place in the Siddal dugout for the first time last month, when the National Conference League bigwigs beat Great Britain Police in the first round of the Betfred Challenge Cup before accounting for Pilkington Recs on Saturday.

Knight has joined the Halifax outfit from neighbouring Underbank, who he guided through the NCL ranks and into last season’s Championship play-offs before Rangers opted to switch to the Yorkshire Men’s League. “For me this is the biggest coaching role outside of the professional game,” he said.

“Siddal is a club that you expect to see challenging near the top end of the NCL and I know there is a very talented group of players here, as well as a crop of exciting young talent in the Under 23s side that was crowned Yorkshire Men’s League champions in 2021.

“I’ve come here to test myself and I’m going to put my heart and soul into this great opportunity.”
Knight is pictured being welcomed by Siddal chair Paul Hirst.

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