History made in Burnley College’s first outing

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BURNLEY College’s Rugby Academy celebrated victory in its first-ever competitive rugby league game.

Last season the Academy played and won a number of union fixtures, with a team made up of union and league players, but in the first game of the 2011-12 season, the Academy travelled to Oldham, one of the historic heartlands of rugby league, and beat Oldham College 50-26.

The real triumph was that 23 players represented the Burnley team, with many more waiting in the wings.

Considering the fact that 95% of the squad are 1st year students, and the team have only been together for three weeks, it was a fine achievement.

Dual code player and captain, Lewis Allen, led from the front with an outstanding display, backed up by vice captain Will Holden and Scott Amos.

With a powerful running back three forwards of James Brown, Nathan Knight, Conner Broadbent, and a determined rotation front row of Joe Morgan, Tyler Lord, Connor Midgeley, James Brownless, and Kyle McGhee, the platform was set for the speedy Burnley college backs, in which Matthew Jackson was outstanding with some powerful runs from the centre.

Tom Cooley, Thabo Ntini, Nathan Harrison, Henry Gormer, Pierre Mayhew, Ashley Cock, all had telling games.

The Academy is coached by Brian Foley, who set up the academy system at Wigan Warriors, and former Preston Grasshoppers player Andrew Roberts.

Roberts said: “This was a fantastic achievement for a side that has only been training together for three weeks. All the players who were involved in the game were outstanding and are now really looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Points scorers in the game were A Level students Ntini, Cooley and Will Holden, Sports Studies students Knight and Lewis Allen and Electrical Installation student Jackson.