Elite players from Emmanuel College, in Gateshead, formed part of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation’s 2014 ‘Lions’ squad, which secured a hat-trick of wins on their annual rugby tour.

The ESF tour which selects the best under-16 players from each of the Foundation’s four schools also saw students from Bede Academy, Blyth, The King’s Academy, in Middlesbrough, and Trinity Academy, Doncaster, take part in the successful tour.

Emmanuel College PE teacher Paul Ingham, who accompanied the squad to Scotland, said: “I have been involved in four tours to date and this has been the best one yet. All the boys were a credit to themselves and their schools.”

The squad kicked off the tour with a narrow 24-22 victory over The High School of Glasgow with all points coming from Emmanuel students.

Lions tour result2Man of the match Lewis Burbidge O’Flaherty, 15, of Gateshead, who plays full back for North East Thunder Rugby Academy, scored three tries with Finlay Weatherill, 16, adding a further try and Ben Hedley, 16, kicked three conversions.

A resounding 83-12 win saw the Lions triumph over North Berwick High School for only the second time in the tour’s ten year history, with a hat-trick of tries by Emmanuel students Jed Charlton, 15, and Lewis Burbidge O’Flaherty.

The final game pitted the Lions against Boroughmuir High School in a physical game which finished 50-10 and saw Lewis Burbidge O’Flaherty, who was named player of the tournament, score a further three tries.

“Overall we saw three outstanding team performances from the Lions,” said Mr Ingham.

“They built up a great team spirit and played some exceptional rugby. The boys were a pleasure to coach and take away for the week.”