Brighouse Rangers ensured York Lokomotive’s unbeaten start to the season hit the buffers at sun baked Russell Way on Saturday.
Rangers made it three wins out of three in Division Three of the Yorkshire Men’s League with a 34-16 success.
Lokos opened the scoring in the first minute when Rangers allowed the ball to bounce from the kick off and gifted possession to the York side. The visitors wasted no time in scoring out wide but couldn’t add the extras.
This was certainly a rude awakening for the hosts and they responded quickly with hooker Ben Wrightson skipping over from close range, Karl Frankland converting.
Lokos battled back to take a 10-6 lead with their talisman stand off, ex-York professional Tom Dunmore, marshalling play. Cheap possession from Rangers’ mistakes was certainly helping the Lokos at this point.
Rangers tightened up their ball control, started to punch holes in York’s line and upped the ante in defence.
Jordan Sild was the man to benefit, charging over after powerful drives from Terry Moon and Ben Waud. Frankland’s conversion gave Rangers a 12-10 lead.
York’s big forwards were now running out of steam and Rangers subjected the visitors to a try blitz, with Jamie Barraclough orchestrating affairs.
Waud charged over from distance, followed quickly by Nicky Barraclough and Karl Frankland, for Rangers to open up a 28-10 lead.
Lokos brought a massive forward off the bench to try and stem the tide but his first touch of the ball was also his last. A punishing three man tackle, led by a fired up Ben Drennan, saw him helped from the field after being shunted backwards.
York couldn’t get out of their own half; Rangers’ enthusiastic line speed and aggressive defence crushing their hopes. Moon, Waud, Cameron Wroot and Ronnie Bailey were instrumental in inflicting the hurt and York were fortunate to go in to half time only 18 points adrift.
The second half was more evenly balanced, partly because Rangers’ indiscipline meant that for half the period they were a man short.
Nicky Barraclough was the first player to get a 10 minute rest, unable to keep a lid on his passion after a contentious call by the referee.
Rangers scored again with a man in the bin, though, to go 34-10 up, Midgley turning back the clock and galloping over.
No sooner was Barraclough back on the field than Ben Drennan got a yellow card for a similar offence.
Lokos scored one more converted try and it could have been closer still, but for a miracle tackle by fullback Frankland, who managed to pull off a ball and all tackle over the line despite being faced by two York attackers.
Further never say die defence also forced a knock on during grounding by a York player.
Best for Rangers, as voted by the Loko’s coaching set up, were Wrightson, Barraclough and debutant Wroot.
The new coaching team of Lee Robson, Neil Sheard and Stuart Proctor must have been delighted with the two points to stay top of the table, the attitude in defence being particularly pleasing.
They will be concerned, though, that Wrightson and the evergreen Midgley both had to be helped off the field with leg injuries, and with the mistakes early in the first half which allowed the visitors to get a foothold in the game.