Hartlepool Boys Brigade Old Boys beat South Tyneside College to win rugby’s Durham Trophy

THE THREE AMIGOS: BBOB coaches (l-r) Darren Smith, Andrew Lilley and Gareth Foreman celebrate
THE THREE AMIGOS: BBOB coaches (l-r) Darren Smith, Andrew Lilley and Gareth Foreman celebrate

BOYS Brigade Old Boys capped a sensational season and brought more rugby silverware back to Hartlepool when they lifted the Durham Trophy.

“The invincibles”, who won all 22 matches on the way to clinching the Durham Northumberland Three title, last night completed a league and cup double when they beat South Tyneside College 34-17 at Hollow Drift.

It was the club’s first success in the cup in 29 years and a night to savour for coaches Gareth Foreman, Andrew Lilley and Darren Smith at the end of their debut season in charge at the Old Friarage.

Foreman was the hero, scoring a fabulous hat-trick, but he was quick to heap praise on the players and his fellow coaches.

“The lads have been tremendous,” he said. “Me, Andrew and Darren took a big step coming to Brigade.

“They had been getting four or five lads turning up for training last season.

“We said if we don’t get at least 12 or 13 then we can’t do a session and it’s a waste of mine, Andrew and Darren’s time.

“We said that at the start of the season, but I think the lowest we’ve ever had is 15.

“The commitment of the lads has been brilliant.”

Foreman was delighted with the way they finished off their historic season.

He admitted he had feared that everything after the championship-clinching win at Whitby on the last day of the league calendar might have been an anti-climax.

“I’d been a bit concerned,” he said. “We’d rested a few for the Pyman Cup final against Horden and we lost and then in the Durham Trophy semi-final we weren’t very good.

“I was worried that the lads had peaked for Whitby and they thought ‘that’s it, the season’s over’.

“But that final 40 minutes last night when we were 17-8 down just proved how much guts and determination are in that side.”

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