A RUGBY match held in the Hillfoots over the weekend will go down in history as the first game for Forth Valley Vikings rugby league team.

Kris Illingworth, originally from Yorkshire, set the club up earlier this year with support from Hillfoots RFC where he has played since moving to the Wee County.

The team played their first match, a friendly, on Saturday, June 5.

He said: “We have been training as best we can with the Covid-19 precautions and Saturday was the first time that we could properly play in as close to a match scenario as possible.

“We split our players into two teams – Yorkshire and Lancashire – and had an awesome afternoon of rugby league in the sun."

With the heat, and as it was a training game, it was split into quarters and the Yorkshire side took an early lead in the first quarter but slowly the Lancashire side clawed their way back into the game.

Both the coaches and the referee decided that the scorecard was irrelevant and declared the game to be a draw, with the standout players for each side being Ian MacDonald and Andrew Greaves.

Kris added: "Our referee for the day Luke Fenton was great and coached the players, who are still learning the differences between Union and League. We have our first game against Strathmore in a couple of weeks and really needed this run out."

Not only starting a new rugby league club, Kris has also been busy fundraiser for Motor Neurone Disease.

Between a sponsored walk and a raffle held on Saturday, Kris has been able to raise more than £1,400 for MND, which has afflicted stars of both Rugby Union - Doddie Weir and Rugby League - Rob Burrow.

Peter Norman, president of Hillfoots RFC said: "I cannot think of a better way to spend a warm summer's afternoon than watching rugby in the park.

“Hillfoots are delighted to support the Forth Valley Vikings and would like to recognise all of Kris' work in getting the team off the ground and raising money for such a deserving charity."

The Vikings are looking for new players experienced or not with rugby to sign up and join the team, with training at HIllfoots in Tillicoultry on Wednesday evenings at 7pm and Saturdays at 11am.

Email forthvalleyvikings@gmail.com for more details.