CASTLEFORD ACADEMY beat Orrell school St Peter’s 16-4 to maintain their dominance of Wembley’s annual Stephen Mullaney memorial curtain-raiser.
Captain Noah Booth and loose-forward Tyler Czmeiduch were the inspiration behind Castleford’s third successive victory in the boys’ Year 7 Champion Schools showpiece, in their eighth appearance at the new stadium.
St Peter’s – who lost to Castleford in last year’s final – began strongly, but a superb defensive effort kept them out and the West Yorkshire team counter-attacked to go ahead through a solo try by Booth – the stand-off dummying to kick, dashing through a gap and stretching over to touch down – which he also converted.
St Peter’s hit back through a close-range try by Haaris Brown to make it 6-4 at the break, but Castleford dominated the second half, after an early scare.
They made the most of an escape when St Peter’s had a touchdown disallowed for a knock-on over the line and extended their lead when Czmeiduch proved too strong for the defence from a pass by Booth.
The big forward added his second try near the end of the game, again from a pass by Booth who completed the scoring with his second conversion.
Booth shared the man-of-the-match award with St Peter’s full-back Joe Winstanley.
Castleford Academy also won the Year 7 girls’ final, with a 50-28 victory over Malet Lambert, of Hull, but there was disappointment for the Year 10 boys and girls and the Year 9 girls, in finals played in front of a 1,256 crowd at Richmond.
Castleford Academy’s Year 10 boys lost 46-0 to St Peter’s and the Year 10 girls were beaten 48-16 by St John Fisher, from Dewsbury.
Wakefield’s Outwood Grange won the Year 9 girls’ derby, beating Castleford Academy 34-12.
Meanwhile, St John Fisher’s girls beat St Peter’s 30-18 in the Year 8 final.
There was disappointment for Mirfield Free Grammar (Kirklees), who were defeated 28-0 by Welsh school Glantaf in the Year 9 boys’ decider.