YORK City Knights boss Mick Cook was delighted with the young team that lifted the Fairfax Cup at the York International 9s after a thrilling final victory over Batley Bulldogs.

All three National League clubs making their debuts at the York 9s York, Batley and Featherstone sent predominantly youthful teams to the festival, with the oldest player in the Knights' 15-man squad being recent signing Nick Staveley at 24.

The day-long tournament at Heworth ARLC saw the Knights see off Warrington Wizards in one semi-final and Batley beat early favourites Barrie McDermott's Ambassadors in the other to reach the final, where the home-town team triumphed in a ding-dong encounter.

The Knights thus achieved some success in a difficult, injury-hit season battling against relegation in LHF Healthplan National League One.

Cook who saw his team come through a difficult group featuring past winners FC Lezignan-Corbieres and last year's two finalists, East Hull and the British Army said: "There were some good games in there and some tough teams, and to win the tournament, and come from behind in the final, was no mean feat. It was testament to the spirit the players had.

"Some of them haven't even trained together but I was really proud of them on the day. It was a long day but they all did well."

Cook's line-up mainly featured Academy players, but he also selected six first-team squad players in Lee Lingard, Austin Buchanan, Jamaine Wray, John Smith, and props Staveley and Joe Helme, plus two trialists in Andy Hollins and Bart Thompson.

Lingard, however, pulled out on the day for family reasons, with another Under-21s player Matt Embleton, who had turned up just to watch, being drafted in at short notice, while Smith limped out after the first game, it later being discovered that he had broken a foot in an earlier gardening accident.

Said Cook: "The players built a good spirit among themselves. They said they wanted to win it and backed that up with their actions."

The two trialists may be asked back for a run-out with the U21s after doing well. Added Cook: "They enjoyed it. Playing in a team for the first time is difficult but they won a trophy and you've got to be happy with that."

York International 9s results


Fairfax Cup

Group A': York Ironsides 8, Dewsbury Celtic 4; Lyon-Villeurbanne-Rhone 16, Featherstone Rovers 14; Featherstone Rovers 8, Dewsbury Celtic 8; York Ironsides 36, Lyon-Villeurbanne-Rhone 12; Featherstone Rovers 8, York Ironsides 26; Lyon-Villeurbanne-Rhone 18, Dewsbury Celtic 10.

Group B': Barrie McDermott's Ambassadors 10, Batley Bulldogs 16; Toulouse Ovalie 6, Warrington Wizards 28; Barrie McDermott's Ambassadors 44, Toulouse Ovalie 10; Batley Bulldogs 32, Warrington Wizards 12; Batley Bulldogs 46, Toulouse Ovalie 0; Barrie McDermott's Ambassadors 12, Warrington Wizards 21; Group C': Lezignan-Corbieres 6, East Hull 22; York City Knights 20, British Army 10; York City Knights 6, Lezignan-Corbieres 4; British Army 12, East Hull 4; York City Knights 16, East Hull 16; British Army 24, Lezignan-Corbieres 10.

Quarter-finals: Batley Bulldogs 28, East Hull 4; York Ironsides 4, Barrie McDermott's Ambassadors 24; Warrington Wizards 12, British Army 10; York City Knights 14, Lyon-Villeurbanne-Rhone 6.

Semi-finals: Warrington Wizards 10, York City Knights 16; Batley Bulldogs 22, Barrie McDermott's Ambassadors 18.

Final: York City Knights 14, Batley Bulldogs 10.

Fairfax Shield

Final: Barrie McDermott's Ambassadors 18, Warrington Wizards 20.

Fairfax Plate

Semi-finals: British Army 18, Lyon-Villeurbanne-Rhone 4; York Ironsides bye Final: British Army 28, York Ironsides 20.

Marston Moor Cup

Semi-finals: Woodthorpe Primary School 12, Wigginton Primary School 4; Clifton Without Primary School 4, Hemplands Primary School 8.

Third/fourth place play-off: Clifton Without Primary School 8, Wigginton Primary School 0.

Final: Woodthorpe Primary School 8, Hemplands Primary School 4.


Archbishop Dolben Cup

Group A': York University Tigers 0, Police Sport UK 32; York University Tigers 22, Chesterfield Spires 0; York University Tigers 10, German Exiles 22; Chesterfield Spires 0, German Exiles 34; Police Sport UK 26, German Exiles 8; Police Sport UK 44, Chesterfield Spires 0.

Group B': Royal Navy 20, British Asian Rugby Association 4; Royal Navy 28, Telford Trojans 0; British Asian Rugby Association 30, Telford Trojans 14. Lancaster pulled out.

Group C': York RUFC 16, RAF 24; York RUFC 52, Sheffield Forgers 0; York RUFC 18, South Humber Rabbitohs 16; Sheffield Forgers 4, South Humber Rabbitohs 20; RAF 34, South Humber Rabbitohs 4; RAF 40, Sheffield Forgers 0.

Quarter-finals: RAF 4, German Exiles 8 (golden point after extra time); Royal Navy 28, York University Tigers 4; British Asian Rugby Association 12, York RUFC 26; Police Sport UK bye.

Semi-finals: Police Sport UK 24, Royal Navy 6; York RUFC 20, German Exiles 14.

Final: Police Sport UK 30, York RUFC 10.

Archbishop Dolben Steeden Shield

Final: Royal Navy 20, German Exiles 0.

Archbishop Dolben Steeden Plate

Semi-finals: British Asian Rugby Association 16, RAF 36; York University Tigers bye.

Final: York University Tigers 12, RAF 28.