WEST BOWLING head coach Ryan Hunkin was pleased to be able to blood some youngsters in Saturday's friendly derby with Bradford Dudley Hill, but he joked that he doesn't want them going anywhere any time soon.

The teams were playing for the inaugural Stevie Laws Memorial Trophy and raised over £700 on the day for Kirkwood Hospice, which provides specialist palliative care for the terminally ill in Kirklees.

Laws was a well-respected and talented prop, who turned out for both Dudley Hill and West Bowling, as well as Halifax, who he played professional rugby for between 1977 and 1984.

Laws, who helped Dudley Hill to win the National Cup following his stint at 'Fax, sadly passed away after a short battle with pancreatic cancer in late 2017 and this game has been created in his honour.

(Above: Former Dudley Hill and Bradford Bulls star John Bateman, who reached the 2019 NRL Grand Final with current side Canberra Raiders, helps out at the Stevie Laws Memorial Trophy match)

Speaking about Laws and the game, which Bowling won 24-20, Hunkin said: "He could act as an inspiration, especially for the younger lads.

"A few of our players could easily play a level up, in semi-pro rugby, but I'll happily keep them at West Bowling for the time being.

"They don't know too much about Stevie but the committee have spoken about him a few times and it was great to raise £700 for a fantastic cause."

He added: "It was a physical game and I knew we needed that physicality going into our (Challenge Cup First Round) game against Featherstone Lions. I just felt Dudley Hill could offer that more than other teams.

"Everyone selected came through with no injuries and two lads who've just come through our Under-16s, Haydn Spence and Max Tordoff, put in a stint for us."

Dudley Hill's first-team manager Steve Wright was pleased too despite the narrow defeat, saying: "It's always good to play them, and we did well considering how last season went for them.

"If you look back at our last few results against them, there's not much between us. We know how close we can be to West Bowling.

"But they're a young, very fit bunch of lads, who can probably train twice a week in pre-season. For one of their tries for example, we were putting in an extreme amount of effort, but then one chip over the top undid us. They can hurt you like that.

"It was good to integrate a couple of new lads though and we should have someone else coming in. I think we're in a better place, players-wise, than we were at the end of last season."

Wright also admitted that a couple of old heads have agreed to return to the playing staff, including Anthony Huby, who he said could be spoken about in the same breath as Laws in years to come.

Laws' most notable success at amateur level came with Dudley Hill, and Wright said: "Stevie was an extremely popular guy and his name is synonymous with the club.

"I didn't know him personally, but you get to know the names of legends like him when you join this club, like I did as a 19-year-old playing for the second team."

One of those legends is of course Canberra Raiders star John Bateman, with the former Dudley Hill loose forward making a welcome appearance at the game on Saturday.

He did his bit too, showing he had not forgotten his roots by acting as makeshift water carrier for his old side.