HOLDERS York Ironsides had the Fairfax Cup ripped from their grasp by Police Sport UK at the York International 9s Rugby League Festival.

Ironsides were beaten 22-6 in the final at Heworth’s Elmpark Way ground, while the Royal Dragoon Guards claimed the Archbishop Dolben Cup after a golden point victory over Northallerton Stallions.

The Ironsides and the Police met in the first of the round robin fixtures earlier in the competition, with the holders emerging victorious.

However, the Police took the upper hand in the final with Chris Sheffield going over in the corner for an early try. A great offload by Tom Lauriston sent man of the tournament Alex Clemie in under the posts to extend the lead.

The Ironsides hit back with a try from the restart as the impressive Richard Potts raced in from half-way, neatly sidestepped the would-be tackler and scored. The Ironsides added the conversion and it was game on at 8-6. However, the Police took the game out of reach with another try from Sheffield on the stroke of half-time. The outcome of the game was then never in doubt as the Police ran in two more tries after the break, the first coming after some excellent handling, as the Ironsides’ efforts in the heat of the earlier rounds finally caught up with them. Northallerton Stallions went through the round-robin sections of the Archbishop Dolben unbeaten in group one, although they were pushed all the way by the Royal Dragoon Guards, who progressed at the expense of the Heavy Woollen Donkeys.

Group two was much closer, with Cattledogs, Fife Lions and Wyke ARLC all winning one match. They could only be separated by points difference, with Cattledogs and Wyke progressing to the semi-finals. Northallerton beat Wyke 22-8, while Cattledogs lost 14-4 to the Royal Dragoon Guards.

In the final, the Royal Dragoons took an early lead when man of the tournament Zac Bainicau romped in for a try. Northallerton hit back with a converted try to briefly lead 6-4, only for the Royal Dragoons to get two quick tries to take a half-time lead of 14-6. Another strong run from Bainicau from the kick-off extended the Royal Dragoons’ lead with a converted try, before Northallerton’s Michael Sheeran took the game by the scruff of the neck with a breakaway try and conversion. He followed it up with another break down field, neat side-step and scorched in to score another converted try to take the scores to 20-18, only for the Royal Dragoons to quickly hit back with an unconverted try.

Sheeran wasn’t finished and, with seconds to go, he raced in for another try from half-way before coolly kicking the conversion to level the scores at 24-24.

With the game heading into golden point extra-time, the Stallions’ restart went out on the full and Bainicau galloped in under the posts to clinch the tournament for the Royal Dragoons.

In a first for the competition, the match officials for the Fairfax Cup final came from the Combined Services.

York 9s results

Fairfax Cup

Semi-finals: York Ironsides 18, York City Knights 14; Police Sport UK 24, York RUFC 16.

Final: York Ironsides 6, Police Sport UK 22.

Player of the tournament: Alex Clemie (Police Sport UK).

Archbishop Dolben Cup

Semi-finals: Northallerton Stallions 22, Wyke 8; Cattledogs 4, Royal Dragoon Guards 14.

Final: Northallerton Stallions 24, Royal Dragoon Guards 28 (Dragoons won in golden point extra time).

Player of the tournament: Zac Bainicau (Royal Dragoon Guards).