Kells Under-18s got their North West Counties campaign off to a flying start away from home

The talented youngsters had one of the hardest wins anyone would witness, edging the tie at Wigan St Jude's 28-22.

Kells travelled to an established side with a bare 15 men, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring with a Jacob Johnson try, converted by Cameron Taylor. Five minutes later Kells crossed again when livewire James Ennis split the line, Taylor again converting.

The home side struck back with two tries in quick succession but the goals were missed and Kells were 12-8 leaders at the break.

The second half kicked off and a mass brawl saw Dylan Hurton, who had been outstanding from the kick off, and Lewis Barwise sent from the field of play, along with a St Jude's player.

Kells responded well as William Ennis crossed the line 18-8, with Taylor converting and James Ennis got a second. Although the home side came back, it was the West Cumbrians who led 22-18.

Kells had William Ennis sent off for a late tackle but, down to 10 men, the youngsters dug deep and with 15 minutes remaining Dan Starkie scored another clever try which Taylor tagged on the extras to for 28-18.

With 10 minutes to go St Jude’s scored again to bring the game to a thrilling end at 28-22.

Jacob Johnston picked up the man of the match but was run closely by the rest of the squad.

Coach, Craig Chambers added: "This is the first time Kells have raised an under-18 side in 10 years. To be part of such a victory is massive for the club and all the people who have put in a lot of hard work, Sean High, Gary Hetherington, Mark Robb and the backroom staff have been outstanding."

On Sunday, the under-18s play their BARLA National Cup second round tie at home to Leigh Miners Rangers.