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Brave Settle lose out in thriller
10:36am Thursday 2nd September 2010 in Rugby League
Settle College Year 10 Girls rugby league team were edged out 26 -18 in a closely fought Carnegie Champion Schools’ final at Uxbridge where, once again, they came up against Castleford High School in a repeat of the Yorkshire Cup final. The finals weekend trip began on Thursday with a visit to the Wembley Stadium and ended with a return there for the Champion Schools parade before the Challenge Cup Final on Saturday.
The conditions were near-perfect for Friday’s schools’ finals day and a large crowd greeted each of the 14 schools as they paraded on to the Hillingdon Stadium pitch to play.
Settle fielded a full-strength side and were hopeful in their quest to reverse the earlier result against the strong Castleford outfit.
The game did not start promisingly as Settle failed to complete their first two sets, and valiant defending led to a series of s17 consecutive tackles before they finally conceded a try out wide.
Settle came back strongly and scored with the first of captain and player of the match Lauren Stallwood’s three tries, and from this point until the last minute of the game, there was never more than one score between the teams.
Forwards Katie Giles, Lauren Dugdale, Rose Rushton and Faye Ambler kept up a barrage of forceful runs and the tackling throughout the team was relentless.
The scoring see-sawed throughout a half that saw Settle start to dominate, due in no small measure to Akrigg’s ability to dictate play from dummy half, and take a narrow lead into the break.
The second half continued in the same vein and the handling and tackling from both teams was appreciated by the increasingly animated crowd who were being treated to one of the best contests of the day.
As the final three minutes ticked by Settle tired in defence, and a couple of uncharacteristic defensive lapses inside their own 20 metre line allowed Castleford to gain a foothold from which they were able to score twice in succession and close out the game.