Kells under-16s showed true grit and determination to come back and snatch a draw against one of the best teams in the country.

The young side, currently top of the North West Counties U16 premier division, were without a game and so arranged a friendly against highly thought of Cramlington Rockets U16s.

It was set to be a massive test for the boys as they recently put 60 points on Seaton Rangers.

The trip to the North East at the weekend did prove tough but the talented Kells side came from behind to snatch a draw.

Kells got off to a bad start when they were caught offside from the kick-off and the resulting penalty saw Cramlington pick up an easy try and conversion to take a 6-0 lead.

The west Cumbrians knew they had it all to do and a good defensive set brought the ball back into their hands. From this, more hard work allowed Clarke Chambers to cross in the corner, with Fleming adding the extras to level the game at 6-6.

Then, 12 minutes into the game, Kells took the lead, after weathering a Cramlington storm, they turned attack into defence.

A run from dummy-half from James Ennis resulted in a cheeky offload to his twin Will who crashed over the line for a 10-6 advantage, with the conversion missed. But then an error on the kick-off gave Cramlington the ball back and they capitalised quickly to score under the posts and the conversion handed them back a 12-10 lead.

Again Kells made an error on the goal line and Cramlington scooped up another try to bring their lead out to 16-10, with the extras not added.

And it was soon 22-10 when the home side capitalised on a weak defence to score in the corner and add the touchline conversion.

Kells suffered another blow when they were reduced to 12 men, Will Ennis receiving a red card.

But that seemed to spur the Whitehaven side on, with Jordan Allen crashing over the try line from dummy half to begin the fightback. Fleming added the extras and Kells were right back in the game at 22-16.

Kells worked hard with 12 men and a clever kick through from James Ennis saw big prop Morgan Kasiera collect and skittle three defenders on the way to the try line.

Fleming added the extras and levelled the game at 22-22 to set up a tense final 20 minutes.

Both teams pushed hard in the final period but the plucky 12-men of Kells held out and a cheeky drop goal attempt in the dying seconds nearly won the game for the Cumbrians but in the end they settled for a hard-fought draw.

The Kells forwards all played well and it was a close call for the eventual man-of-the-match which went to