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First Team - Match centre

Brighouse Rangers
Clayton
Full time
R Wilkinson, D Harrison
Sat 26 Mar 14:30 - Pennine ARL - Division Three West

Brighouse (A)

Clayton slip to agonising defeat!

Clayton fell to a rare and ultimately crushing reverse against title rivals Brighouse to virtually hand the league leaders shield to their opponents. If ever a league game could be billed as a winner takes all affair, this was that game. With Clayton's only previous defeat suffered at the hands of their opponents back in early October and Brighouse's the week before this clash, surprisingly at lowly Hollinwood, the game was played between two sides who had win percentages of 93% and 92%!

Noticeable from the off, the howling wind was to play a major part in proceedings, causing havoc to both sides kicking games. The first quarter was played at a fast pace, with neither side giving an inch in defence. A couple of half breaks resulted in good cover tackling and the game was interrupted by a series of knock on's, understandable, given the stake of matters.

After forcing another knock on deep in Brighouse territory, Clayton finally found a breakthrough. The ball was shipped to the short side by hooker Phil Redgrave and after hitting the line at pace, Ryan Wilkinson showed good footwork to slice over. The pressure had been mounting and Clayton had finally settled down to gain some control. Unfortunately, they did not kick on and make this early score pay. The Clayton pack were more than matching their counterparts, with ex Brighouse man Danny Murgatroyd and Christian Wooler particularly excelling. After a further spell of neither side gaining the upperhand, Brighouse struck, with not one, not two, but three vital and damaging blows, just before the half ended. Firstly, the lively Brighouse hooker, who looked a class above throughout, somehow powered over from acting half, despite the attention of three would be tacklers. Despite looking the more comfortable, Clayton had been pegged back to 4-4 on 35 minutes. What happened in the final 5 minutes of the half, shaped the rest of the season for Brighouse. That lively hooker again found his way to the chalk, side-stepping and ghosting between tacklers to cross out wide. Finally, after shipping the ball out wide early in the tackle count, the giant winger on Brighouse's left, bulldozed down the flank to beat all covering defenders and score between the uprights. Clayton were all at sea, with an apparent lack of discipline and composure just before half time resulting in a scoreline of 14-4.

Clayton knew they needed a massive effort in the second half and in fairness they threw everything at Brighouse. The wind now playing havoc with any attempted kicks forward, Clayton slowly and occasionally found a way to break through down the middle. With Devon Gurney having more of an influence with his running game, Clayton were making strides chancing their arm and shipping the ball, as well as looking to keep the ball alive more. It paid dividends, when using a short side play, hooker Phil Redgrave linked with Jimmy Waddington who freed David Harrison on the outside. He sprinted and weaved his way back between would be tacklers to score a much needed try. With 15 minutes left, Clayton were back in the game.

Frustratingly, that was the end of the scoring. As much as Clayton tried, they lacked the composure needed to get back level. Chances came and went, with several good opportunities blown. The ruck was becoming messy and to Clayton's added frustration and appeals, the referee refused to penalise or provide any respite to Clayton's plight. Brighouse to their credit comfortably saw out the remaining and last 5 minutes, attempting an ambitious drop goal along with pinning Clayton in their own half.

At full time, Brighouse could celebrate a hard fought, mammoth victory, whilst Clayton were left to reflect on what might have been. They were left with a home game against Worth Village to come, before the hugely anticipated Bradford Cup Final against Victoria Rangers, on Sunday 1 May.

Key moments

19:00
Try Ryan Wilkinson scores for Clayton
65:00
Try David Harrison scores for Clayton

Highlights

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66:00 Missed Conversion
Phil Redgrave misses a conversion for Clayton
65:00 Try 0 - 8
David Harrison scores for Clayton
End of period 1
20:00 Missed Conversion
Ryan Wilkinson misses a conversion for Clayton
19:00 Try 0 - 4
Ryan Wilkinson scores for Clayton
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Brighouse Rangers
  • Clayton
  • 0
  • Ryan Wilkinson Try 19:00'
  • David Harrison Try 65:00'

Team selection

Waterman, Jamie Waterman, Jamie
Murgatroyd, Danny Murgatroyd, Danny
Hodgson, Craig Hodgson, Craig
Wooler, Christian Wooler, Christian
Redgrave, Phil Redgrave, Phil
Parkinson, John Parkinson, John
Gurney, Devon Gurney, Devon
Pendlebury, Scott Pendlebury, Scott
Lanfear, Josh Lanfear, Josh
Wilkinson, Ryan Wilkinson, Ryan
Harrison, David Harrison, David
McElroy, Oliver McElroy, Oliver
Waddington, Jimmy Waddington, Jimmy

League round up

Other Division Three West results

Hollinwood
P
P
West Bowling A
Hollinwood
30
0
Worth Village

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Woodhouse Warriors 16 28
2. Oulton Raiders 14 26
3. Clayton 18 24
4. Eastmoor Dragons 16 20
5. Wyke 14 18
6. Queensbury 16 10
7. Birkenshaw Blue Dogs 11 6

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