Saturday 25th April saw Manchester Rangers RLFC field two teams for the first time in the history of the club, however it was a day of mixed feelings for the lofty Rangers.
Firstly, Manchester Rangers ‘A’ took on Chester Gladiators ‘A’ in the curtain raiser to the North West Mens League clash between the two clubs.
Manchester Rangers ‘A’ started the brighter of the two sides and quickly raced into a 16 – 0 lead and never really looked like they would take a backwards step. By half time, Rangers ‘A’ were 26 points in front.
Although the Gladiators enjoyed some good spells of possession, and also crossed the whitewash for two tries in quick succession, Rangers ran away with the game in the end.
Manchester Rangers ‘A’ will certainly be back in action in the future, and Rangers Head Coach Steve Molloy will be looking to use the second team to blood his younger charges as well as introducing players new to the club into game situations.
FINAL SCORE: Chester Gladiators ‘A’ 16 – 48 Manchester Rangers ‘A’
If the curtain raiser was anything to go by, the North West Mens League encounter ran by a similar story line, however it was the Rangers that were on the receiving end of a hefty score-line.
Rangers started the game far slower than their opponents, with the home side racing into a 16 point lead within the first 10 minutes of the game starting. Rangers enjoyed a short spell of possession close to the Chester try line, only for Dan Stroker to be clattered in what seemed like a high shot. Stroker had to be assisted from the field with a facial injury. Five minutes later the Gladiators crossed again, 22 points to the good, with a quarter of the game gone.
The introduction of ‘The Cannonball’ Douglas Saya brought the Rangers to life, within a minute of being on the field, Saya was involved in a collision that could have been marked on the Richter scale.
This seemed to rejuvenate a dejected looking Rangers outfit, as they started to play with more composure with ball in hand, whilst fighting fire with fire in defence and finally making it difficult for the Gladiators to gain any decent field position.
Some say lightening doesn’t strike twice, yet it did with another thunderous tackle by Saya on the very same opponent as his first input into the game. If the first one was anything to go by, this would have measured a 6.5 on the Richter scale creating tremors far and wide. Fortunately the Chester player was ok, however he did need to be assisted from the field of play.
By the time the Match Official signalled for half time, Rangers were arguably playing the better football and starting to get a foothold in the game, conceding or of the 22 points during the opening 20 minutes.
Rangers were unable to continue at the same intensity as they had finished the first half. Chester broke away down the right flank and scored a long distance try from inside their own half to notch their first points of the second stanza.
At this point Rangers were well and truly busted, with Dan Stroker already out of action due to the injury sustained in the first half, Brian Massey & Mike Greensmith also had to leave the field with a suspected broken hand and knee respectively.
The Manchester Rangers forwards found it hard to contain the Gladiators in defence, and in attack were unable to lay a platform for the backs to do their magic and create scoring opportunities out wide.
Gladiators once again took the game to the visitors, and were rewarded with back to back tries, with the score board starting to spell out what looked like a convincing victory for the league pace setters.
Never to be a defeated side, Manchester Rangers played with energy and spirit throughout and were awarded with a late consolation when Joe Regan crossed for his first try of the season to ensure that the Rangers finished the game on a high note.
FINAL SCORE: Chester Gladiators 46 – 6 Manchester Rangers
|25th April 2015||2:30 pm||North West Mens League Division 2||2015|
|Cheshire County Sports Club|
|11||Private: Joe Regan||Prop||1||1||0||0||0|
|29||Jordan Green||Scrum Half||1||0||1||0||0|
|29||Private: Brian Massey||Centre||1||0||0||0||0|
Head Coach: Steve Molloy