RUGBY players from across the district turned out for Border Park in a match against a touring side from America.

And they were part of a thrilling encounter of Barbarians-style rugby at Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park.

The Kielder-based side brought in players from no fewer than eight clubs, with Border Park, Tynedale, Alnwick, Morpeth, and Prudhoe & Stocksfield all represented.

They ran out 45-35 winners against the CSU Long Beach State University, from California, during their UK tour, which also saw the Americans take on Wells RFC in Somerset, and Streatham-Croydon RFC in London.

Organised by Corbridge-based tour operator Sky High Sports, the Kingston Park clash, on Friday, took place on one of the wettest days of the year.

CSU Long Beach arrived in Newcastle having won their two previous touring games. The tourists looked sharp in the warm-up, and Border Park knew they had a game on their hands.

The pre-season match was broken down in to three 30-minute sections to allow for a large change-over in personnel throughout the game, and over 50 players turned out in total.

While players wanted to enjoy playing at Kingston Park, there was much pride at stake, and both sides gave it their all.

The Long Beach 10,12,13 combination provided difficult to defeat all day, with Border Park having to get very creative and run some exceptional lines to break through the defence.

The forward packs were quite evenly contested with scrums and line-outs providing good platforms for good running rugby. After all the rugby was played, Border Park came out on top.

After the game, both teams moved on to the Tap and Tackle bar where presentations were made to both teams as Long Beach University received a carved plaque to commemorate the memorable occasion. Border Park received a plaque from the Long Beach University head coach. Man of the Match was number 7 Matthew Jenkinson, who terrorised the Long Beach defence with his hard running and leg drive in the tackle.

Organiser Richie Gledson said: “Many thanks must go to Long Beach for coming and playing Border Park. A big thank you to Kingston Park for hosting such a match and providing great hospitality. Thank you to everyone who came down and watched the game and provided your support.”