After the bad weather forced the postponement of their 1st game, Stanley Rangers U14's travelled to Castleford Panthers for their first Yorkshire Juniors league game.
Stanley were quick out of the blocks, playing some power rugby. The poor conditions didn't dampen the Stanley forwards charges and with Bradbury, Hopkinson, Medlock, Hampshire and Lewis Kelly doing the damage, the latter powered over for his first Rangers try converted by Harrison Talbot, 0-6. Stanley's defence was then tested for the first time in the game and some great aggressive defence kept the Panthers at bay. With the pitch becoming worse by the minute a real battle started to form. Panthers then got a lucky break from a penalty, Harnetty being pushed to the floor and a quick tap allowed Castleford to register out wide, the conversion was missed, 4-6. The Panthers then scored again out wide and although the ball looked to come free the try was allowed, again the conversion was missed, 8-6 at half time.
The second half started badly for the lads in red and black, conceding 2 tries in the corner, both conversions missed, 16-6. Stanley then started to take control, the forwards battered the black and white's line, and some quick hands from Gilfeather, Harnetty and Hampshire got Dylan Roberts in at the corner for a great try but as Stanley celebrated, the ref chalked off the try for a knock on. The last 15 minutes all belonged to Stanley but they couldn't unlock the Panthers defence which held firm in the closing stages. Final score 16-6 to the Panthers.
The three Stanley players to impress were Hopkinson, Gilfeather and Lewis Kelly, the latter picking up the Man of the Match award. Stanley will look to bounce back next weekend as they host Illingworth.
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