Castleford RUFC under 15s girls dug deep to beat Devon opponents Crediton to become RFU National Cup winners on Sunday.
In a game played at Lichfield, Cas were caught out early as a quickly taken penalty led to them conceding a try.
Gradually the team started to get into their stride only for dogged defence to keep them at bay. Cas had to keep feeding off scraps, but some quick thinking from scrum-half Courtney Pursglove saw her squeeze through a gap to score a welcome try she converted.
The team kept their heads and worked at their game and were rewarded with another determined close range dive through a crowd of defenders from Tilly Churm to take it to 12-5 at half-time.
In the second half Cas hit their groove and began to exert pressure, which was rewarded by a typically well worked try and bursting run from Abi Burton.
The next try exemplified the team’s play this season. A strike against the head just in the Cas half saw the ball worked quickly from the scrum to release Churm again. She seized the opportunity and ran from just inside the Crediton half with defenders desperate to catch her then had the presence of mind to score right under the posts. Pursglove again converted.
Cas tightened their grip and another try from the irrepressible Pursglove, which she converted again, took them further ahead.
The breaks started to build from all areas of the pitch and only some stout defence managed to keep them out. But from the last play of the game Emma Hardy launched another attack and the ball was moved superbly before Churm crowned her player of the match performance by racing away to score.
This was a fitting end to a great team effort and with the final score 36 -5 Castleford showed why they deserve to be recognised as the best U15 girls side in England.