The Broncos entertained 2nd placed Manchester Rangers today, in what is always a hard fought encounter and today was no exception Defences were well on top, Rangers holding out despite playing up the slope. The Broncos dominated the half but were unable to score, bombing two try scoring chances. Rangers also came close after a line break and only a chase back cover tackle from Jonathon Tindale saved a certain try. Late in the half Rangers did score out wide to go in at half time leading 0-4 in what had been a tough first period.
It was obvious that this was going to be a close encounter and that the team who wanted it most were likely to win. When Josh Hill went in under the posts for a converted try taking it to 0-10 it looked like it might be Rangers and when their center scored minutes later for 0-14 it looked like Bury's bombed first half chances would cost them dear. After further Rangers pressure which saw try saving tackles from Jonno Taylor and Aaron Crielly the Broncos forced a Rangers error, loose forward Ash Warne pouncing upon the loose ball to run 80 meters despite being hotly pursued to the line. This was converted by Jay Rawlinson to bring Bury back into the game; 6-14. The Broncos were now dominating play and some great offloads from ex coach Liam Owen caused Rangers problems. The Broncos scored next when following a Rob Pritchard kick the Rangers winger knocked on and in the following play Rangers were found short of numbers out wide when good hands put in center Abdou Radwan; 10 - 14. Jay Rawlinson kicking a magnificent goal off the touchline to make it a 2 point game; 12-14. The Broncos now sensed victory and looked like they had scored when after Sean Kelly was held up on the line, Liam Owen dived over from acting half, only to have it disallowed by the ref. The Broncos continued to press and after the outstanding Joe Cooke was forced to retire through injury, coach Graham Holroyd switched Danny Kelly to hooker and put Owen at half. It was Owen who then put Ash Warne through a half gap with a great short ball ,Warne then drawing the fullback to find fullback Sean Kelly in support, outpacing the cover to score what turned out to be the winning try. Rawlinson finishing with a 100% goal kicking record; 18- 14. Rangers threw everything at the Broncos for the last ten minutes but some tremendous goal line defence from Danny and Sean Kelly, Ash Warne and Rob Pritchard amongst others held them out for what was a well deserved win.
There were huge performances all over the park today and this was first and foremost a team victory but mentions for outstanding efforts from Ash Warne who played despite a bad back, Jonno taylor and Joe Cooke, tireless as ever, Abdou Radwan who was immense in attack and defense, Liam Owen who made a huge difference in attack when he came on, Tyler Nolan who was a handful all game, "sitting down" a few who got in his way, JT who should play more often and finally Veteran Paul Kynaston who led from the front throughout. The team have turned a corner following wins vs Leyland, St Judes and now Rangers in their last 4 games (not to mention the 9s semis) and they have shown great character to come through a tough spell. Thanks also Dave Latham, Cal Donaldson, Rob Gehlhaar and Will Spencer for their help pitchside, but most of all ALL 17 players who stood up to be counted and played for each other to get the win they deserved.