Academy squads star in Kingston Park triple header Academy February 19, 2018 Newcastle Thunder’s emerging talents were to the fore last weekend, as all three academy teams tasted victory in a tripleheader at Kingston Park on Saturday. Starting the day against Championship side Barrow Raiders, the Under 16’s completed an impressive turnaround in the proverbial game of two halves. Starting the second half trailing 12 – 14, things didn’t get easier for Thunder as the Raiders added a further ten points to their score. Tries created from quick hands and a turn of pace allowed the hosts to score three in quick succession, which turned the tables in Thunder’s favour. A final try sealed the victory for the youngest side as they finished the game with a 32-24 victory. The scholarship team was next to feature in a game which was truly end-to-end action. Thunder had the early lead and went into the halftime break eight points to the good and showed some ruthlessly defending as the Vikings battled their way back into the game, ultimately holding on to claim the second victory of the day 26-24. The final game of the day saw the Thunder Under 19’s take on Wakefield Under 19’s in the highly anticipated start of the U19’s Super League season. The game started in physical fashion with massive collisions straight from kick-off and all the way until the final whistle. Thunder started strong with a try through Sam Stephenson which gave his side an early lead but as expected from all professional academy teams, Wakefield did not give up and scored two tries to finish the second half with a four-point lead. The half-time team talk in the Thunder changing rooms caused a true change in the team’s dynamics and focus, as they came out into the second half ready and energised. A second-half performance was one to remember as Thunder scored three more tries, all converted by kicker Dan Coates. In a tense last ten minutes for all those watching, Thunder controlled play until the final whistle to complete a remarkable day for the club’s youth set-up.