Brighouse Rangers got their Pennine League Division Three West season back on track after last week’s setback at Hollinwood, with a vital victory over title rivals Clayton.
Victory prevented Clayton earning the two points they needed to clinch the title and kept Rangers – who defeated Clayton earlier in the season – with the hope of overhauling them.
Both teams looked nervous as they traded possession in the first fifteen minutes, with both sets of forwards testing out the opposition’s defensive line and it was Claytonwho opened the scoring following a flowing move to finish in the corner.
Brighouse replied instantly after great work from half-backs Jamie Barraclough and Lewis Morris who then fed centre Jordan Sild who crashed over the line with three Clayton defenders.
Rangers lifted the pace of the game, both in attack and defence, with strong runs from forwards Terry Moon and Lee Robson and rookie full-back Reece Bray returning the ball with interest which had the visitors back- peddling. Andy Esmond exploited a gap in the Clayton defence to scamper 30 metres to touch down to give the home team a 10-4 lead.
On the stroke of half-time Tom Guinan produced a moment of magic as he drew in the centre and winger of Clayton to release a mercurial pass to Brighouse’s classy centre Steve O’Keefe to sprint down the field to score under the sticks.
Clayton reduced the deficit to just six points with 20 minutes to play but Brighouse gave everything in defence and produced an heroic display to hold on at the final whistle.
Brighouse travel to Queensbury A this Saturday (2.30) with their quest to win the league alive and kicking.
WithWyke’s first team seeing their game postponed, it was left to Wyke A to make hay on Sunday and that they did, winning 76-16 at Cowling Harlequins in Pennine League Division Four West.
Brett Grey’s 70-yard return set up Kieran Helliwell for Wyke’s first try. The conversion was landed by Jimmy McKibbon. It wasn’t long until Jordan Longbottom crossed for his first try for Wyke.
With some great passing from James Cullen and Gary Worley the floodgates opened with tries from James Cullen (2) and Helliwell a second as Wyke raced into 52-6 lead at the break.
After Cowling started the second half with a score, Scott Watson crossed to increase the lead. After another Cowling score, Wyke then had prop Stevie Richardson bust the line to score his first try and then throw the ball at a Cowling player which earned him a ten-minute rest!
Props Marc Goodwin and Phil Oliver also crossed the line and the final try of the game came from scrum-half Worley who created his own gap and he took full advantage by crossing the line under the sticks. Jordan Longbottom added a try and McKibbon kicked 12 goals.
Wyke’s man of the match was Scott Watson, with Grey and Goodwin pushing him close.