THE Brentwood Elvers performed admirably as they became the first team from South East England to take part in a prestigious tournament.
The under 11s team won one of their matches at the Scarborough Rugby League Festival during a weekend that provide stern tests against teams from Hull, Bradford and Warrington last weekend.
During the initial friendly games on the Saturday, the Elvers put in a fantastic effort to draw the first game against East Hull Blue before going down in some closely fought and entertaining games against Dudley Hill, Shevington Sharks and East Hull Red.
The matches were played at a ferocity never before experienced by the players.
However, if Saturday was the starter then Sunday, the day of the actual tournament, was the main course.
The first game on Sunday, against East Hull Red, became a bit of a grudge match. From the outset tackles were going in hard and fast until the closing stages where tempers flared and a fight between two opposing players quickly escalated into an all-out brawl.
When order was restored, the referee sent off one player from Hull before abandoning the match.
The following game against East Hull Blue attracted a large crowd as it had become clear that the Elvers would not be intimidated and roll-over. Once again this was a tough encounter where the Elvers broke through East Hull's defensive line twice to score two brilliant tries. East Hull then replied twice to level the scores.
However, in a dramatic finish, a measured kick into East Hull's in-goal area resulted in the Elvers' full-back beating his opposite number to dive into the corner and put the ball down for a fantastic win.
The Elvers' last games were defeats against two very stylish sides, the Shevington Sharks and Dudley Hill.
After the previous bruising encounters, the team began to tire and injuries began to take their toll.
Carl Horsman, the team's head coach said: "At the end of the festival all the coaches, supporters and festival organisers complimented us on our sportsmanship, skill level and they were extremely impressed with the way we dealt with the physical side of the game.
"All the boys have learnt from the experience and bonded as a unit, which were our main aims. They were all a credit to the club and Rugby League as a whole and will definitely be remembered as a team to fear next year."
As a result of this trip, discussions are currently taking place over the possibility of Dudley Hill travelling from Bradford to pay a visit to Brentwood later in the summer.