THERE was a final first for the Neilson family as Charlie took the whistle while daughter Beth ran the line for the Holliday Challenge Cup final.
While both Slaithwaite Saracens and Emley Moor could take pride in their performances in the showdown at Lockwood Park, there was equally plenty for Charlie to be proud of as 17-year-old Beth produced an assured performance with flag in hand.
"We have had a couple of games where we have been together, but this was our first final," said Charlie.
"Beth has been involved in becoming a referee ever since she was 13, so she has the experience.
"She is up to Academy level at the moment and she should be ready to referee at open age level next season.
"Beth got into the game playing, and she still plays for Huddersfield Ladies and then takes up the whistle on a Sunday."
And Charlie was pleased they could both – along with touchjudge Andy Tolly and fourth official Sam Ansell – be part of what was a tough but fairly contested final which Saracens won 40-18 against underdogs Emley.
"I think some people thought it might prove to be a little one-sided, but it was an end-to-end game for most of the match and very enjoyable," he said.
"It was a good game and I think that Emley can be happy that they did themselves justice."