Manchester Rangers emerged victorious after a thrilling contest with West Bank Bears on the night of the official launch of the club.
The scene was set for a taste of what it may be like playing Rugby League in the big time. Under the floodlights of The Manchester Regional Arena, Manchester Rangers were looking to conquer the travelling Bears in front of an impressive crowd of 274.
The occasion signalled the intentions of the ambitious Rangers, with a match day experience that would arguably rival those of clubs currently plying their trade in the professional ranks of the sport. By the time kick off came around, the spectators were ready to witness something exciting and the Rangers and Bears did not disappoint.
The game started at a relatively slow pace, with both sides going set for set whilst getting a feel for the game, but it was the Bears who were to cross the whitewash first, with Jamie Benson scoring the first try of the game to put West Bank 4 points to the good.
Eight minutes later, Rangers were sparked to life with an excellent try scored by David Gooch, the following conversion by Buckley-Mayall edged the home side in front for the first time of the night. The home supporters didn’t have to wait much longer for another chance to cheer when Rangers centre Tyrone Parsonage went over for his side’s second try in as many minutes. Kyle Buckley-Mayall converted to extend the Rangers lead to 8 points.
A momentary lapse from Manchester Rangers from the kick off saw the ball find its way to touch, giving The Bank some good field position with a scrum on the Rangers 30m line. A sweeping move by the Bears saw Jak Howden score their second try of the night, Arnold converting to make it a 2 point ball game.
With two minutes of the first half to play, David Gooch crossed for his second try of the night on debut for the Rangers, Buckley-Mayall missing the conversion
Manchester Rangers went in at the break 6 points ahead, after a feisty and entertaining first half.
Half Time score 16 – 10
The home side started the second half as they finished the first, after a stroke of luck, Brian Massey found the ball in his possession, with work to do, the strong running back rower bust through the Bears defence and raced 50 metres to score his first try of the season. Nick Holt with the conversion, Rangers were now 12 points in front.
Some good defence from the Rangers saw the Bears into touch in the 46th minute with the try line metres away. In the 47th minute, the Bears saw red when loose forward Dave Murphy was sent from the field for dissent. The following set of six saw Brian Massey go over for his second try of the game, cutting edge stuff through the Bears defensive line. Holt again with the conversion putting the home side firmly in control with an 18 point lead.
With a man down, West Bank were to put up a stirring fight back, in the 60th minute, Arron Davies crossed from short range to claw back 4 points for The Bank, Stokes missed the conversion to leave the Bears trailing by 14.
6 minutes later the away side crossed again, this time being converted by Matty Murphy, to reduce the deficit to 8 points.
The Rangers numerical advantage was taken away when Captain Andy Lewis was sent to the sin bin in the 73rd minute for dissent, the Bears scored following the removal of Lewis from the field with a Matty Bradshaw try, Murphy successfully converting to make it a two point ball game. Edge of the seat stuff at the Regional Arena!
The final 7 minutes were extremely suspenseful, with both teams spilling chances to score, however it was the impressive Dan Stroker who had the final say with a try for the Rangers in the 79th minute, Buckley-Mayall missing the conversion in the last kick of the game.
Final Score: Manchester Rangers 32 v 26 West Bank Bears
Match Official: Dave Bradshaw
Touch Judges: Peter Brooke, Lee Hall
|20th March 2015||7:30 pm||North West Mens League Division 4||2015|
|Manchester Regional Arena|
|4||Joe Moura Da Luz||Centre||0||0||0||0||0|
|11||Private: Joe Regan 10||Second-row||1||0||0||0||0|
|15||Douglas Saya 8||Prop||1||0||0||0||0|
|6||Private: Kyle Buckley-Mayall||Stand Off||1||0||2||0||0|
|29||Jordan Green||Scrum Half||1||0||0||0||0|
Head Coach: Steve Molloy
West Bank Bears
Head Coach: Richard Hughes