UNDERBANK Rangers picked up their seventh straight National Conference League III victory on Saturday, running out 38-12 winners over struggling Bristol Sonics.
But there was no repeat of the 62-0 romp that Bank handed to Sonics in the reverse fixture last month, as the Huddersfield side had to battle hard to come from behind and continue their unbeaten streak.
Hooker Harry Marson opened the scoring for the hosts before Aaron Pearson touched down to give Bristol hope at half-time.
But Alex Chatterton
, Adam Ryder and James Usher
all went over with player-coach Richard Knight and Jayden Covell-Wood each grabbing a brace to ensure Bank left a rain-swept Little Stoke Park with three points.
Bank now sit third in the Conference League III six points behind leaders Hemel Stags with two games in-hand. Bristol are still searching for their first win of the season.
Yet it was the home side that started the brighter as great defensive work denied Rangers a route through before some ruthless attacking caught the Bank guard unaware.
Marson capped off a dangerous move by exploiting the gaping Bank defences and he picked a way through, touching down after an impressive 30 metre run.
This proved a telling wake-up call for the reigning champions and Chatterton soon found the form that inspired his impressive performance last week as he brushed off some ineffective tackling to touch down. Neil Barrett
converted to draw Bank level.
An impressive break on the 20 minute mark pushed the men from Holmfirth into the lead. Quick hands from Barrett, Nick Briggs and Covell-Wood set Ryder free and he raced 40 metres to go over.
Bank began to turn on the style and threatened to run out of sight before the interval as Usher accelerated through Bristol’s defence unchallenged to go touch down beneath the posts.
However Bristol’s response was swift and Jordan Williams
’ knock-on from the kick-off allowed Sonics to press Bank’s line before Pearson managed to bustle his way over.
But as the hosts were seemingly finding their feet again, Bank were at hand to pull off another piece of brilliance. Chatterton managed to flick out an almost impossible one-handed offload to Covell-Wood who crashed over in the corner after the attack seemed to be quelled.
Ranger’s quick-footed hooker Jay Senior was sin-binned before the hour for persistent foul play, but the 12-men of Bank were not hampered as Covell-Wood crossed for his second of the afternoon.
Underbank head coach Knight had seemingly hung up his playing boots after playing Coventry last month, but absences had meant his services were required. For the influential playmaker, there was no easing back to action as he went over twice and killed any hopes of a late Bristol surge.
Bank will be back in action on Wednesday as they take on Bramley Buffaloes in their rearranged fixture at The Cross, kick-off 7-30pm.
UNDERBANK: Will Midgley
, Jayden Covell-Wood, Alex Chatterton
, Adam Ryder, Courtney Allette
, James Usher
, Dave Valentine
, Steve Berry
, Jordan Williams
, Sam Coyne
, Nick Briggs, Kris
Harrop, Lee St Hilaire, Richard Knight, Matt Larder, Jay Senior