Brighouse Rangers edge out rivals Queensbury
Brighouse Rangers came away with the two points after beating near neighbours Queensbury 22-16 in a pulsating Yorkshire Premier derby on Saturday.
Rangers’ young winger Lucas Birts was only stopped by a last ditch tackle but, in the 18th minute, he got his reward, after an exquisite Troy Ambler chip over the top was gathered in by Birts, touching down near the posts. Karl Frankland added the extras to give Rangers a 6-0 lead.
This was almost extended when Charlie Walker burst through the line deep in his own half, and again, Queensbury’s full-back came to the rescue for the visitors.
A succession of penalties propelled Queensbury down field and they managed to narrow the deficit with an unconverted try.
Rangers introduced Harvey Keighley-Payne off the bench and he made an immediate impact with some hard running and stinging hits, and just after the break he surged through from 15 metres out to score a try improved by Frankland to make it 12-4.
Hooker Jimmy Banks was next to score for Brighouse when he was put through by Birts, who plucked a superb high bomb out of the sky, Frankland again kicking the extras.
The lead could have been extended even further, Birts fumbling the ball on the line after an almost miraculous pick-up at top speed from a deep raking kick.
Unfortunately, some indiscipline crept in again, allowing Queensbury to gain field position, and they turned pressure into points with a converted try to make it 18-10.
Rangers responded when a glorious passing move gave Sean Maloney some space down the wing and he romped over in the corner for an unconverted try.
The visitors demonstrated their dogged nature though, hitting back with a converted try to make it 22-16 with three minutes remaining.
Rangers’ failure to play out the last six tackles nearly cost them dearly, Queensbury racing down the field, only for their player to throw a pass off the floor after the tackle was complete, his difference of opinion with the referee seeing the visitors end the game reduced to 12 men.
Rangers deserved their victory though and coach Lee Robson was delighted to see his side moving up to third in the table.
Young Charlie Walker was nominated man of the match by Queensbury. His ability to mix it up with bigger seasoned players despite his tender age of 17 continues to impress.
Lucas Birts looked a threat any time he was in possession and Harvey Keighley-Payne also impressed.
Ronnie Bailey put in a massive defensive display, with some vital tackles at crucial times in the middle of the park, and Sam Hardcastle appears to be relishing his new position in the front row.
Rangers now have a week off before taking on Nottingham Outlaws.
The seconds lost away at Keighley Albion 26-20, squandering a six point lead with three minutes left. Coach Terry Moon was desperately disappointed with the result but delighted with the efforts of his players who had fought back from a six point deficit to be in a winning position.