Rangers travelled to local rivals Birkenshaw knowing not to expect a repeat of the score line from the corresponding fixtures in mid September.
Some excellent recruitment from head coach and former professional Jason Lee following the end of the summer season would see the hosts fielding a number of changes to the side that visited Russell Way.
Birkenshaw opted to use the slope advantage in the first half and piled the pressure on Rangers from the off. Rangers withstood the early pressure but the line soon cracked when the Birkenshaw second-row forward powered home wide out.
Birkenshaw, who landed the conversion, soon doubled the lead when the ball was passed out to the wingman who burst down the touchline and fed the supporting full-back who raced under the posts unopposed and it was 12-0.
Rangers began to get a foot hold in the game and were on the score sheet when stand-off Dane Bairstow beat the line and sent in former Birkenshaw player Gary Proctor. Proctor converted his own try.
Shortly before half time, Rangers’ man of the match, hooker Stuart Proctior pulled them back into the game finishing off a well worked try.
Gary Proctor converted anbd it was 12 -12 at half time.
Rangers were looking to build on a good last 15 minutes of the first half. Both sets of forward were leading the way in attack and defence, both cancelling each other out.
Birkenshaw got the stroke of luck both teams were after when hooker Matthew Honeysett charged down a kick and gathered the favourable bounce to score.
Within minutes Birkenshaw, who had added the extras, had established an unassailable advantage after stretching their lead to 24 – 12. Rangers desperation to chase the game led to many mistakes and Birkenshaw held out to claim the two points. Birkenshaw 24
Brighouse Rangers 12
Pennine ARL Championship One
Brighouse Rangers A 26
Garforth Tigers 4
Pennine ARL Division Five
Rangers’ second-string welcomed Garforth to Russell Way for what was only their second home game of the season.
The game started with both teams having to put in the hard work with the game going from end-to-end, but after 15 minutes Rangers made the breakthrough.
Stand-off Karl Frankland put a high kick up on the last tackle, the Garforth full-back fumbled the ball and second-row Kasim Hussain collected the loose ball to go over for his first try of the season. Frankland missed with the extras.
For the next 10 minutes the game continued to be nip and tuck but Rangers began to constantly pressurise the Garforth try line. Great yards by skipper Lee Robson and fellow prop Mark Airey allowed Frankland and the outstanding Mark Bean to combine to send powerful Mark Barton over for a try. Joe Campbell converted.
With minutes left until half time Rangers added to their efforts when veteran Paul Fairhurst charged over out wide, again after good forward play by Hussain and Josh McLean. Campbell was unable to convert.
The second half sta rted in the same vein as the first ended, with Rangers-14-0 up and making constant inroads into a never-say-die Garforth side.
Then Frankland sent the ever dangerous Campbell in for a quality try and then added the extras to his own try.
Garforth, with the wind behind them, began to kick from deep in search of possession in the Rangers half but with Ziggy Kaye, Andy Collins and Callum Marsden safe at the back and making yards back up the field and pinning Garforth back in their own half, Rangers were in control.
In what was a rare attacking chance in Rangers’ 20, Garforth went over out wide for an unconverted try.
However, it wasn’t long before Rangers were in again when Pete Lopag stepped through one tackle and walked over from 20 metres; Campbell added the extras to complete the scoring.