Manchester Rangers just edged out a spirited Culcheth Eagles in a scrappy encounter that takes the Rangers’ winning streak into double figures.
The Rangers made 6 enforced changes to the side that ran out winners over Chester Gladiators one week early, due to a number of players being unavailable. However, the Rangers squad depth showed and the players coming in were more than capable of getting the job done.
It was the Eagles who were to start the stronger of the two sides with a tenacious and aggressive approach to the game which left the Rangers pinned well in their own half and defending numerous sets on their own line. The Rangers defence held strong for 22 minutes until eventually the pressure told and Culcheth broke the dead lock with two quick tries giving them a 12 – 0 lead.
The poor start was further compounded when Kyle Buckley-Mayall was sinbinned for ill-discipline and Rangers looked to be firmly on the back foot. However, despite being a man down the Manchester side finishing the stronger of the two teams thanks to a score from Jacob Winstanley, Jordan Green good with the conversion and a penalty to bring the Rangers back in touching distance
HALF TIME: Culcheth Eagles 12 – 8 Manchester Rangers
The Rangers started the second as they had started the first, with silly penalties and poor errors culminating in pressure on their line. Again, the pressure was too much and Culcheth registered the first points of the second half with a try to edge them 8 points ahead at 16 – 8.
A brilliant effort from David Gooch, racing away from 50m out and beating the Culcheth full back to go under the sticks brought the Rangers back within 2 points. This was to be short lived, as a superb line was ran from Culcheth to break from deep and push the lead back out to a healthy 8 points.
Manchester visibly stepped up in tempo at this point and when the ball was worked wide to Chris Bamber, nobody was stopping him as he powered through 5 Culcheth defenders to bring the Rangers back within 2 once again.
With 15 minutes to go and nothing to lose the Rangers began to throw the ball around and pick up the pace of play. A quick play of the ball was brilliantly capitalised upon by Jacob Winstanley who broke from within the Rangers half and powered through two despairing defenders to give Manchester the lead for the first time in the game at 22 – 26.
With a slender 4 point margin, Culcheth piled the pressure back onto the Rangers with attack after attack on the Manchester line. David Gooch was sin binned for dissent and Culcheth looked to press the numerical advantage but were held at bay by impressive scramble defence.
When the Rangers regained possession and identified a weakness down the blind side, the ball was shipped to on form winger Joe Moura who raced away for his second 90m try in as many weeks to put the Rangers just out of reach of the Eagles. Culcheth refused to give up until the end and pulled a try back but ultimately the difference was insurmountable.
FULL TIME: Culcheth Eagles 26 – 32 Manchester Rangers
|15th August 2015||2:30 pm||North West Mens League Division 2||2015|
|Shaw Street Recreation Ground|
Head Coach: Tom Eaves
|5||Joe Moura Da Luz||Wing||1||1||0||0||0|
|6||Private: Kyle Buckley-Mayall||Stand Off||1||0||0||0||0|
|7||Jordan Green||Scrum Half||1||0||6||0||0|
|38||Josh Ogden||Forward Utility||1||0||0||0||0|
Head Coach: Steve Molloy