By Dave Parkinson
Lancashire claimed a pulsating victory over Yorkshire in an away game played at Sharlston Rovers.
The red rose Under 17 side has a fine pedigree and the class of 2017 stepped up to the mark, again under the expert tutelage of Kevin Johnson, Peter Eccles and David Yates.
The game started superbly for the visitors when they pushed close with Leigh Miners Rangers centre Oliver Crompton being hauled down. Lancashire then switched play infield and Shevington Sharks second row Ryan Woolfenden forced his way over with powerful leg drive and impressive strength. Rochdale Mayfield loose forward Jackson Kelly converted from in front before Yorkshire swept over for two tries through Josh Wilcocks from close range, and Connor Hovell after a fumble in the backfield by Lancashire, with the Eastmoor centre putting a goal over to open a 10-6 advantage.
With 23 minutes gone Wigan St Judes wing-man Lewis Belshaw saw a try disallowed after team mate Jack Mills (St Judes) was deemed to have passed forward, however Belshaw was not to be denied ten minutes later following a lovely ball from Oliver Livett (Rylands Sharks) after the red rose forwards had got them downfield.
Mills stepped up to convert brilliantly from the wing and Lancashire led 12-10.
It proved short lived however as just before the break, Yorkshire struck with stand-off Brandon Campbell (Hunslet Warriors) kicking through and pouncing on a fumble for Connor Wynne of Skirlaugh to goal.
That gave Yorkshire a 16-12 lead at half-time.
As in the first half Lancashire were quick out of the blocks. Just a couple of minutes into the new half they stretched the defence left before Callum Coleman (Blackbrook Royals) kicked out to the right. Oliver Crompton took the bouncing ball and finished well in the corner. Mills couldn't goal but it was all level at 16-16.
Moments later the red rose repeated the dose when Oliver Livett dived over from dummy half. Wigan St Patricks centre Josh Hesketh took over kicking duties and landed the conversion to make it 22-16.
Heading into the last quarter Lancashire scored again when impressive prop forward Tom O'Loughlin (Shevington Sharks) got through the defence and Hesketh's goal made it 28-16.
Yorkshire roared back into the contest with two more tries. The first of these came on the hour when they pushed close to the line and Wilcocks speculatively grubber kicked towards the posts. The ball deflected off legs and the loose forward was quickest to react and claim his second try. Hovell goaled. Then a couple of minutes from the end Reece Gooch (West Hull) was sent clear by scrum half Jordan Paga (Newsome Panthers) after an offload from Luke Whittaker (Stanningley). Gooch raced 60 metres to the corner and Hovell levelled things with a brilliant touch line conversion.
A draw looked a likely result but Lancashire had other ideas. A twenty metre tap brought some thunderous charges from the superb pack and just as the visitors seemed set to drop a goal, a step and drop of a shoulder by O'Loughlin created space and the prop forward galloped over to score. Hesketh's third goal made it 34-28 and Lancashire were victorious.