Rangers’ comeback brings cup delight

Brighouse Rangers''Captain Scott Bradley
Brighouse Rangers''Captain Scott Bradley

RANGERS came from behind to win the Halifax and District ARL The Joseph Fee Memorial Challenge Cup Final on Saturday, at the Old Brodleians ground at Hipperholme.

They had to be alert right from the start.

In the opening five minutes player-coach Alex Muff stopped Keighley from scoring when a grubber kick from Shaun Metcalf landed under the posts.

In the 10th minute Shaun Cole made a break to the half way line and again it was Muff who brought him down.

Rangers then made a substitution when Andrew Houlihan replaced Andrew Walter.

In the 21st minute Andy Collins spilled the ball and Paul Bradwell pounced and went in at the corner.

Kris Gott failed with his conversion attempt but after plenty of field postion down the slope, all Keighley had to show was the one try.

Muff had to receive some pitch side treatment to his head and he was subbed, and replaced by Lee Buckley.

Two minutes later and Bradwell collected a god kick and was heading for the line but the referee blew after instruction from the touch judge that he had just stepped over the touchline.

In the 36th minute man of the match Stuart Proctor put the ball up and Gott dropped it which put pressure on the Keighley line.

It was from this knock on that acting halfback Young dived over the line with two tacklers on his back.

Proctor tagged on the goal and put Rangers in the lead at 6-4.

But they were only in front for three minutes before Keighley’s lively stand-off Colin Pickles ghosted through, then put Shaun Metcalfe away before he handed on to Gott to make amends for his knock on.

Hudson added a further two points with a superb conversion and it was 10-6.

Rangers suffered a blow just before half-time when Seager in the tackle suffered a broken nose. Karl Frankland replaced him.

A half-time substitution saw Muff return and play in a variety of positions and roles to keep his side going forward down the slope.

Rangers were enjoying more possession in the Keighley half and exerting their influence on the tie.

Walter went near with a break from 20 yards then Muff was held at the line by three Keighley players.

The hard work paid off when Young grabbed his second heading for the 70 minute mark and Proctor followed with the goal conversion putting them back in the lead at 12-10.

The Rangers were handling all that was thrown at them by Keighley who had just missed promotion.

The game was sealed when the visitors were penalised for a ball steal and being near the uprights, Rangers opted to take the two points and get the ball back for the remaining minutes.

Proctor had an easy kick and made it 14-10 as the game came to a close.

Former Thrum Hall favourite Jack Scroby gave the man of the match to Proctor and Clifford Fee, president of the Halifax League, presented the cup and trophies.