4th July 2018, 10:56 | ncl
The NCL War of the Roses clash seems set to become a regular feature on the sporting calendar, if TV's Rugby AM have anything to do with it.
Last week's televised clash at Castleford was the prelude to the Legends Rugby League War of the Roses where an Adrian Morley House of Lancaster select went down to Michael Shenton's House of York, with teams including such as a 56-year old former Castleford full back Graham Steadman, Bradford's Jimmy Lowes (46) and ex Warrington full back Richie Mathers.
Morley's side was led by the big forward himself and with Rose Bridge's Prince from Ince, Paul Wood in the frame they showed some of their old skills too.
But the big talking point for all of them was how good the NCL War of the Roses had been previously, and although Lancashire disappointed in the first half as they got to know each other, they battled back from a 20-0 half time deficit to 24-12, before a late Yorkshire flourish took the game away for the White Rose and a 38-12 success.
Never the less, the Lancashire Coach, Richard Owen, who now coaches Thatto Heath, was delighted with the response of his team.
He said: "We did make a lot of errors in the first half from over running passes or not retaining ball possession, but I think that was down to not having played together.
"But in the second half we started to get it together and there were some good performances out there. It was all superbly organised and as an event, with a kids' festival and the Legends game to follow, it was a great honour to be part of it.
"The lads loved it and hopefully it will continue for next year. It is something different and a recognition for top players in the NCL competition."
There were some cracking performances in a game that Yorkshire dominated, but there a couple of nice touches along from the two Cumbrians in the side, Joe Bold and Kieron Glenn of Egremont.
The concept of declaring your allegiance to House of York or House of Lancaster was the brainchild of history fanatic Jamie Jones-Buchanan of Leeds Rhinos, who wanted players to declare for one House or other, just as they had done way back in the mid 1400's at the war between the Plantagenet houses, as they chased the King's crown.
Cumbrian clubs are demanding they be given the opportunity to play as a separate entity, but that is unlikely because of this format and the fact that it proved a success.
Hopefully next year there will be an even bigger mix of Cumbrians or other players declaring for one side or the other. Nevertheless, the fans turned up, the game entertained and the reputation of the amateur players involved, their clubs and the NCL all received a glut of very welcome praise positive publicity.
Trevor Hunt, Chairman, National Conference League