OXFORDSHIRE’S newest club played their first ever match in strange circumstances.

West Oxfordshire Levellers, who were launched in Burford last September, took on Chorley Panthers and Wibsey Warriors in a ‘virtual’ game from their own back gardens.

The initiative, introduced by the Rugby Football League to fill the void created by the coronavirus lockdown, sees teams work their way through a series of skill and fitness challenges.

The Levellers’ 12-point haul saw them finish third, with the Warriors racking up 24 points and the Panthers claiming 20.

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But club founder John Connaughton, a teacher at Eynsham’s Bartholomew School, was delighted to finally see his side in action.

He said: “It’s a different world, but because we’re going out there and doing something we’ve already had some great feedback.

“The kids absolutely loved it and it was a really positive experience.

“I think it’s a brilliant concept and I’m surprised other sports haven’t done something like this.”

The Levellers held just two training sessions before lockdown struck, so the virtual match was a welcome return.

Skills test including passing and kicking, while the players also took on fitness challenges such as squats and burpees.

Daniel Cartwright starred for Levellers in the skills activities, with Hamish Linnell and Olly Lewis battling it out in the fitness challenges.