RALPH Butterfield Primary School flyer Michael Byram proved the star of the show as his side lifted the first-ever Marston Moor Cup.

Byram scored a superb individual hat-trick in the final of the inaugural competition for primary schools, which was run as part of the York Golden Jubilee Rugby League Festival staged at Heworth ARLC on Monday.

However, that was not enough to see him steal the player of the tournament award, which instead went to team-mate Jack Hodgson.

As reported in the Evening Press, the group stages of the schools tournament, which were held a week earlier, saw Ralph Butterfield, Archbishop of York's, Barrowcliff (Scarborough) and Dunnington primary schools reach the last four.

The semi-finals were played as a curtain-raiser to the main Fairfax Cup semis during Monday's day-long festival, with Haxby's Ralph Butterfield beating Barrowcliff 20-10 and Archbishops, of Bishopthorpe, defeating Dunnington 20-16 in a thriller thanks to a late try.

In the final, which was played before the Fairfax Cup final, Archbishops had no answer to Byram, who ran in three tries with captain Mark Shead notching a fourth as the Haxby side won 20-0.

Schools tournament organiser Russell Walton said: "It was a big success. All the kids enjoyed themselves and there is already a plan to stage the tournament again next year and even include schools from further afield."

The awards were presented by Bradford Bulls duo Lee Gilmore and Stuart Fielden and Leeds Rhinos pair Rob Burrow and Matt Adamson, while coaches and scouts from professional clubs joined popular mascot Bullman in the crowd.

Festival organiser Lionel Hurst was full of praise for the youngsters. "You could see how much the children, both girls and boys, enjoy playing rugby league.

"The game is made for youngsters. We would love to see every primary school and indeed secondary school in York playing our great sport.

"As for the Marston Moor Cup, we would love to extend it and maybe have some international representation in future so it could grow in harmony with the Fairfax Cup."

Marston Moor Cup

Semi-finals: Ralph Butterfield 20, Barrowcliff 10; Archbishop of York 20, Dunnington 16.

Final: Ralph Butterfield 20, Archbishop of York 0.