Reigning champs march on in Fee Cup

RANGERS began their defence of the Halifax Cup with a trip to Championship club Kings Cross.

Rangers included new signing Darren Robinson and also welcomed back Alan Bottomley for his first outing of the season.

From the first attack, Kings Cross registered the first and indeed their only try of the game. A slick passing move saw the wingman touch down out wide, the conversion was successful for a 6-0 lead.

Rangers, in front of a crowd estimated at around 300, began to slowly make inroads and grab a hold of the game. Some telling drives from Andrew Houlihan and Wayne Jowett led the way and helped Brighouse set a platform.

Rangers’ dominance was to pay off as Reece Spurr crashed on to a ball from hooker Stuart Proctor and outmuscled the defence to score next to the uprights. Gary Proctor slotted over the conversion. to level things up at 6-6.

With minutes of the first half remaining, Rangers were awarded a penalty in the front of the sticks and Proctor duly added the two points to make it 8-6 to his side.

The second half was a game of chess with both teams completing set after set and looking for some field position. The introduction of Robinson proved vital for Brighouse.

With the game in the balance, Robinson sent a long ball to centre Richard Flynn who gleefully accepted the pass and side stepped his way past the would-be defence to score out wide. Robinson missed the conversion.

Rangers hammered the final nail into the Cross coffin when Stuart Proctor darted over from half back. Robinson converted to leave the final score 18-6.

A jubilant coach Craig Young said: “This was a much improved performance and hopefully it is the start of a good 2013 for us.

“We have signed several new players and the strength in depth now looks great.

“We would love to be in the final of the Halifax Cup again and I can’t wait for the draw for semi final to be made.”

Best for Rangers were Reece Spurr, Stuart Proctor and Mark Horne.

Kings Cross Park 6

Brighouse Rangers 18

Joseph Fee Memorial Halifax & District League Challenge Cup - Round One

Warriors break their Wibsey duck with on-the-road success

Wibsey Warriors 24

Whitehall Warriors 50

Pennine ARL Division Four

WHITEHALL Warriors got 2013 off to a fantastic start by gaining their first ever win at Wibsey, writes David Beaumont

The opening exchanges were even with both teams looking strong and determined.

Ricky Middleton put up a bomb after good approach play from Mark Bolger and Joe Fee. Winger Luke Sagar out jumped his taller rivals and Whitehall were on the scoresheet, Jamie Holroyd converting from the touchline.

Wibsey responded by throwing the ball wide and Chris Adams got over on the right flank.

Continued pressure on the Wibsey line resulted in Dominic Guiry going over from acting half back. Holroyd booted the easy conversion.

A grubber kick on the last tackle saw Joe Hardon get the home side a try under the sticks which Steve Redman easily converted for 12-10.

Whitehall’s Ricky Tillotson then came into the equation. A 20 minute blitz from the outstanding half back left Wibsey dead and buried.

A chip through from Ricky Middleton saw Tillotson chase, collect and dance around his opponents and score. He then picked up at acting half back and darted past sleeping markers to register his second.

His hat trick was mesmerising as he stepped and dummied through deflated opponents.

Just before half time Tillotson carved through yet again and, with only the full back to beat, he passed the ball to Andrew Johnson who collected the simplest of tries.

With Ricky Middleton converting two of these scores, Whitehall went in at half time with a comfortable 32-10 lead.

Wibsey came out strongly for the second period and centre Steve Redman forced his way over.

Whitehall responded with some powerful runs from big Pete Williams and player-coach Richard Casaonove.

Joe Fee, always a danger, backed up Tillotson and his strength took him over the line.

Wibsey briefly stopped the rot with two more tries, then normal service resumed for Whitehall.

Coach, Casanove, went on one of his blockbusting runs and found captain Alex Scargill in support to run the remaining 40 metres. Continued pressure from Whitehall, with Ashely Caine and Ryan Brook continually probing, left Wibsey stretched.

A great crossfield kick from Paul Stead to the opposite corner found Jamie Holroyd leaping highest to get the final try of the match. His brilliant touchline conversion brought up 50 points for Whitehall and recorded a memorable victory.

On Saturday, Whitehall are in cup action with a trip to Division Three West Leeds in the Andrew Bennett Cup (1.45).