Pennine ARL Division Two
RANGERS travelled to Yorkshire cup finalists Thornhill Trojans, a game which would see one team lose its 100% league record.
They were rocked with the withdrawl of several key players for varying reasons and many calls were made to squad members to ensure Rangers had 17 players on duty for this key game.
Despite the late arrival to Thornhill, Rangers started the game on the front foot with a Thornhill centre knocking-on from the kick off. Rangers were seemingly camped in the Thornhill half, the forwards defending really well and laying the platform. Rangers had a few chances to score in those first 15 minutes, however poor handling near the line was to prove costly. The loss of loose-forward Russ Young with a serious knee injury only compounded matters. With Thornhill’s first real surge into the Rangers’ half the centre made up for his early mistake when he scored under the posts. This was to be the start of a 20 minutes onslaught which saw Rangers conceded another four tries and leave themselves with a mountain climb to at 26 nil down.
The second half started brightly for Rangers, veteran prop forward Craig Young offloaded to Mark Horne who burst through the defence, side stepped his opposite number and beat the covering defenders to the line. Gary Proctor converted. With the game in the bag, Thornhill flung the ball about with the stand-off leading the way and taking his team around the park. Thornhill increased their lead before prop forward Terry Moon executed a planned move to perfection.
Thornhill ran in two more tries before the final whistle to leave them comfortable winners.
Best for Rangers were Horne, Moon and Jamie Barraclough.
After the game hooker Stuart Proctor said: “It was really disappointing not to have a full strength team today as I feel we could have really given them a game.
“Big thanks today to everyone that pulled a shirt on, and a couple of the boys were making first team debuts and they did not let us down. The title hunt is far from over.
“We now have three weeks rest and we will be looking to cement one of the promotion places in the new year.”