By Phil Caplan, Date: 21/6/13
Ukraine rugby league registered a memorable win against the BARLA Young Lions touring team to capture the Artur Martyrosyan Memorial Cup in Kharkov. The British amateurs led 16-10 at the break but the home side crossed three times in the second half, led admirably by Vladimir Mashkin and a strong defensive effort from Sergii Kravchenko, hanging on to triumph 26-22.
It was in an exciting finale to a four-team competition which also featured Ukraine Students and a Moscow Federation selection, named in honour of the founder of Ukrainian rugby league.
The first day of the tournament saw a round robin of 30-minute games with BARLA, led by Dewsbury Celticâ€™s Dougie Foster, victorious in all three of their matches, including a 18-0 result against the eventual winners, and amassing 94 points. The hosts beat the students 36-0 and the Russians 22-0 to take their place in the finals day.
Moscow repeated their opening day triumph over the students to take third place in the competition.
URL President Artur Martyrosyan Junior, said: â€œThe Ukrainian playersâ€™ display was of a high standard. This victory is the best possible present for Ukrainian rugby league and for our country. It is the first defeat of a BARLA team since our cooperation with them began in 1988.”
The Ukrainians will now enter the European Bowl in July full of confidence, and with their favourites tag reinforced. They host Norway on 6 July before travelling to the Czech Republic in September.