Underbank Rangers 30 – 12 Bramley Buffaloes
Half Time: 20 – 6
Venue: Cross Grounds
Champions Underbank Rangers hit eight straight wins in the National Conference League Division III as they outclassed Bramley Buffaloes 30-12 in a feisty encounter at The Cross.
Lee St Hilaire was doubtful prior to play prior kick-off but the skipper and Adam Ryder each bagged a brace with James Usher and Courtney Allette securing the three points.
Omar Al-Rawi and Nicholas Fontaine looked to channel an upset by going over, but the men from Holmfirth proved too strong.
Bank head coach Richard Knight knew that the good start was key to winning a game that proved to be a tough contest.
“We played it tough. We played Saturday, they played Saturday and it was always going to be who got off to the better start and we were the ones who started really well.
“They wanted to play a niggly game which didn’t suit us; the penalty count was 18 which obviously meant it was a really slow game which suited them. But we stuck to our guns and we knew it was going to be tough and we had some good individual performances that carried us through.”
Bank were ruthless in attack straight from the kick-off and breached the Bramley defences twice in seven minutes.
After retrieving possession from the kick in the opposing half, Rob Joyce found a route through to the line where he released the supporting Usher who went over.
Five minutes later a touch of class from Neil Barrett saw Bank extend their early lead as he re-gathered his own chip through on the 6th tackle where he offloaded to Alex Chatterton who released the on-rushing St Hilaire to touch down.
But as the penalty count started to rise, the game began to slow, before Craig Lovelock’s grubber kick finally opened the space for Al-Rawi to touch down in behind.
Allette and Ryder made sure Bank held a healthy lead at the break as both powered over in the far left corner to make it 20-6.
It was Lovelock’s boot again that opened the scoring after the interval as Fontaine raced onto his well-directed kick.
As the away fans tried to sing-up another Bramley try, Ryder was at hand to silence the choir once again. Briggs’ 20 yard break provided the space for Craig Williams to release Ryder for his second of the night.
St Hilaire then killed any hopes of a late come back as he all too easily danced through three opposing defenders and waltzed in under the sticks to cap off another solid Rangers’ performance.
1) Will Midgley, 2) Jayden Covell-Wood, 3) Alex Chatterton, 4) Adam Ryder, 5) Courtney Allette, 6) Neil Barrett, 7) James Usher, 8) Craig Williams, 9) Steve Berry, 10) Jordan Williams, 11) Dave Pawson, 12) Rob Joyce, 13) Nick Briggs, Subs (All Used); 14) Lee St Hilaire, 15) Sam Dalby, 16) Sam Coyne, 17) Jacob Senior
Tries – Usher (2), St. Hilaire (7, 78), Allette (33), Ryder (36, 72)
Goals – Barrett x 3
1) Omar Al-Rawi, 2) Andrew Staniland, 3) Aaron Blake, 4) Simon Lindsay, 5) Nick Fontaine, 6) Anthony Lindsay, 7) Craig Lovelock, 8) James Woods, 9) Ben Pitts, 10) Ben Lawton, 11) Benoit Rodgers, 12) Thomas Langton, 13) Danny O’Connor, Subs (All Used); 14) Joshua Tordoff, 15) Dave Parker, 16) Paul Turner, 17) Anthony Mills
Tries – Al-Rawi (30), Fontaine (63)
Goals – Lindsay x 2