Rangers’ win sets up semi derby

Illingworth v Brighouse Rangers. Scott Bradley.
Illingworth v Brighouse Rangers. Scott Bradley.

BRIGHOUSE travelled to Pennine League Championship side King Cross with a 13-point lead due to the handicap system in place for this competition.

Rangers are currently hit by a major injury crisis and the second team had to forego its fixture for for Rangers to select a first team.

Rangers started the game slowly and a defensive lapse let in King Cross for the first score of the game.

Rangers hit straight back when Scott Bradley crashed over. Neil Walton converted.

King Cross were soon back in the lead when some poor defence let in the hosts’ centre to score under the posts.

Rangers finally began to click and they used the slope to their advantage.

Alex Muff dived in next to the posts and Walton converted.

With Rangers on the front foot Jamie Barraclough chipped over the defence, collected the ball and off loaded to cousin Nicky Barraclough, who out sprinted the cover to the line.

Walton converted and Rangers lead 18 – 10 at the break.

Rangers began the second half slowly and conceded an early try.

They then began to get a grip on the game and the slope.

Second-row forward Andy Collins scored a great try when he ran on to a pass from Bradley and carved his way through the line and past the fullback. Walton converted.

King Cross began to throw all they had at Brighouse and scored two converted tries to leave them four points in front and just nine points behind with the handicap.

Rangers finished the game the strongest. Prop forward Andrew Houlihan, who had recently come out of retirement, showed he had lost none his skill.

The veteran dummied his way through and raced 40 metres to the line. Karl Frankland converted.

Rangers finished the scoring when Bradley broke the line and fed speedster Pete Lopak who scored out wide.

Frankland missed the conversion, however with only minutes the try proved to be the final score.

Victory for Brighouse means they have a mouth watering semi-final against near rivals Whitehall Warriors, a 30-point deficit is the lead they will have to chase down.

Best for Rangers were Andy Collins, Andrew Houlihan and Scott Bradley.