KEIGHLEY Rugby Union had the honour of staging the opening event of Yorkshire RFU's 150th anniversary season.

The county will be holding 150 days of rugby during the 2019-20 season, and Rose Cottage had first dibs, hosting an under-15 girls' tournament and year eight boys' tournament on their artificial grass pitch.

The matches, which were all friendlies, involved boys' and girls' teams from South Craven School, Settle College, Sir Titus Salt School and Ilkley Grammar School, plus a girls' team from Whitcliffe Mount School and a boys' team from Parkside School.

South Craven School's girls won one, drew one and lost one, while their boys won one and lost two, and their head of PE, Richard Hughes, said: "It was a fantastic day and a brilliant event to start 150 days of Yorkshire rugby.

"It is really good seeing all the schools coming to celebrate everything that is good about Yorkshire rugby.

"It was a really enjoyable day for the kids, with many of the girls seeing old friends and they were chatting away, and it is great to use these fantastic facilities to play rugby on.

"It was very much a rotational thing so all of the players got equal time on the pitch. It is good to give them opportunities to challenge themselves.

"They have to step up in place of the players who play week in, week out on Sundays."

Yorkshire RFU president Dawn Rathmell (Huddersfield YMCA and Huddersfield) - the Yorkshire RFU's first female president - said: "The day has gone really well, there were lots of kids here, they really enjoyed it and it was well organised."

Dawn's presidency started on July 1 and she added: "It is busy, busy, busy for me but I am loving it and my diary is very full with these 150 days events which end on Easter Saturday with a mass participation event at Scarborough RUFC.

"It is great to get out and about and meet people from the clubs - I will visit as many clubs as I can but I can't do them all, although festivals allow you to meet several clubs at one venue - but I also want to concentrate on the age grades as why should the kids not have the president there?

"The facilities here at Keighley are brilliant, and without the artificial grass pitches (AGP) we would have had it today."