Keighley-bound Drennan stars as Rangers put Cowling to the sword

BRIGHOUSE RANGERS successfully returned to action after six weeks off due to the severe weather conditions with a 62-0 victory over Keighley-outfit Cowling Harlequins in the Joe Blackford Memorial Trophy to maintain their 100 per cent record for the season.

Thursday, 14th January 2016, 6:26 am
Jamie Barraclough.

Rangers scored straight from kick-off after an error from Cowling which saw captain Jamie Barraclough crash under the posts. The try was converted by Karl Frankland.

They increased their lead after great forward play from experienced prop Terry Moon and rookie Liam Pitman-Smith had laid the platform to spread the ball out wide for winger Reece Bray to cross in the corner for his first Rangers try in only his second game for the club.

Barraclough, who stepped in at loose-forward for the day due to an injury to club captain Lee Robson, crossed over for a hat-trick of tries in a 20-minute spell after great back up play. Rangers dominated throughout and would have been a lot further ahead if it wasn’t for great tackling from three very young Cowling players. Eventually, Rangers scored again from a great move started and finished by speedy full-back Frankland who made it 30-0.

A welcome return to action from newly-married Nicky Barraclough saw the prop come on and score two quick tries from the substitutes’ bench. Man-of-the-match Ben Drennan then dummied his way through from a scrum to score. Drennan now leaves for Keighley Cougars and everyone at Brighouse wishes him all the best as he will be greatly missed.

Further tries from lightning hooker Andrew Esmond, man mountain Tom Guinan and Frankland – who finished the day with a brace – poured more misery on Cowling. Frankland converted nine from 11 conversions.

Rangers’ stand out performances came from Drennan, Esmond and Frankland, but it was a great team performance. Rangers host Higginshaw on Saturday in a top-of-the-table Pennine ARL Division Three West clash and coach Andrew Ambler will expect everyone at training on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, following a massive effort from Rangers chairman Paul Sweeney the club is now better off to the tune of 10 sponsors.

Local businessman Sweeney took all the team for a curry in December to the Blue Bridge Restaurant in Ripponden as a thank you for their team kit sponsorship. Other major kit sponsors are ARW Joinery, Temp Station Limited and Traffic Management Technologies Limited.

Stand-off Drennan earned his place in the Cougars reserve squad after a successful trial alongside second-rower Matthew Bailey who also claimed a place in the squad.

Seventy players turned up the initial trial at Cougar Park and this was then reduced to 40 for a trail game. That was then reduced to 25, and after four weeks of training Drennan and Bailey are in the final 14 players to join the reserve squad this year.

The RFL have brought the reserve league back and it includes quite a few Super League clubs, so as well as playing the likes of Halifax Dewsbury Rams, Sheffield Eagles and Featherstone Rovers they have to play Warrington Wolves, Hull FC and St Helens as well.

Elsewhere, Wyke ARLFC will have to wait to play their rivals Odsal Sedbergh in the Bradford Cup after more heavy rain put paid to the derby clash going ahead last Saturday.

In the meantime coach Warren Pitman will turn his attentions back to the Pennine League as the first team need to get their campaign firmly back on track in Division Two.

Injuries have plagued the side, but with a few weeks break under their belts they travel to Cutsyke Raiders this Saturday with a stronger squad and the second team will be hoping to get a game in when they play host to King Cross Park A (2pm).

The club is also looking for additional sponsorship, whether it is a team, an individual player or one of the coaches. If anyone would like to help out they should contact the club on 01274 673704.

One piece of extremely good piece of news to come out of the club is that Wyke product Cameron Scott, who joined the Bradford Bulls scholarship side last year, has been selected for the England Youth Squad ahead of their two-Test series games against France in March.

The centre is rated as one of the best prospects in the Odsal ranks and played all eight of the club’s scholarship games in 2015.