Brighouse Rangers are buzzing as they look ahead to the visit of promotion rivals Batley Boys on Saturday (2.0).
Rangers gained an important two points against Newsome Panthers last weekend with a 22-16 away success in Championship One.
“The lads really showed up and got stuck in. We need more of the same this week,” said chairman Dave Barnes.
“If we can beat Batley it will put some distance between us and the promotion pack and we will be just two points behind leaders Illingworth.
“There is no reason, with the squad we have, that we should fear Batley, having defeated them 28-0 at our place last season.”
Rangers have boosted their options with the signing of ex Halifax Irish forward Paul Knapping.
With Ben Drennan and Karl Frankland returning this Saturday the only notable absentee is injured Mathew Dawson.
Richard Flynn takes Rangers’ second team to face Pennine League Division Six leaders Ovenden (2.00) in the first round of the Joe Blackford Trophy.
“There is no doubt we face a tough game against Ovenden. But all the lads will travel with belief in themselves and the hope that we can get through to the next round,” said Flynn
Newsome Panthers 16
Brighouse Rangers 22
Rangers travelled to take on second placed Newsome Panthers knowing a win would see them leap their opponents and into the promotion positions.
Newsome took an early lead when they converted a penalty.
Rangers hit back and veteran centre Reece Spurr showed his deceptive pace when he picked up a loose ball and scored out wide.
Young hooker Andrew Esmond then darted over from close range and Gary Proctor obliged for a 10-2 lead.
Newsome began to take the game to Rangers and finished the first half on top with their flying winger crossing the line twice to leave the interval score at 10-10.
Newsome continued where they had left off and they soon took a 16-10 lead.
Rangers drew level when the ball was moved out quickly to the right hand side, allowing Spurr to put in his wingman Jordan Sild. Proctor converted superbly from the touch line for 16-16.
Rangers regained the lead when hooker Stuart Proctor split the defence and the supporting Jamie Barraclough ran in under the uprights. Gary Proctor converted and it was 22-16.
A nervous final 10 minutes ensued with Rangers withstanding relentless pressure.