Stanley Rangers Under 14s faced Normanton Knights U14s in the Wakefield Cup Final on Wednesday, July 4th at the Mobile Rocket Stadium.
Rangers, going in as underdogs, started the game well making great metres through Medlock, Hopkinson and Joel Kay getting the lads in red and black in to some great positions, but mistakes told and Stanley couldn't break the Knights defence open. Stanley were then reduced to 12 men after 9 minutes played after centre Ben Bradbury retaliated to punches thrown by throwing one of his own he was shown the red card. Normanton capitalised on the sending off by scoring soon after, the conversion missed and they went into a lead 0-4. Stanley fought bravely, marshalled by hooker Dan Gilfeather and half backs Harnetty and Logan Wheelhouse, but the Knights were next to score under the posts to make it 0-10. Rangers then started to make big metres to the Normanton line and as the players set ready for a move the ref blew for half time.
Rangers kicked off for the 2nd half and were caught straight away and Knights led 0-16. Stanley made changes and started to get a foothold in the game. A move down the left saw Dylan Roberts break for a 50 metre gain, a quick play of the ball and some fast hands saw Owen Hopkinson power over. Kay missed the conversion - 4-16. Normanton worked their way in to a good position and powered over out wide to make the score 4-20 but Rangers were not giving up and the 12 men started to put Normanton under pressure and as the pace increased the Knights gave away penalties. The Knights were lucky not to have Kian Rowley in the bin for a headbutt right in front of the ref and then Stanley reacted to a Knights' knock on by kicking the ball into the in-goal. Harnetty chased with a certain try on the cards and was hauled back by Rowley. Stanley appealing for a penalty try but were not even given the penalty but the scrum for the original knock on. Rangers pounded the Knights line and impressive substitute hooker Alfie Wilkinson scooted over under the posts to make it 10-20. With time running out, Stanley needed to throw the ball about but knocked on the Knights picked it up and scored under the posts to win the game 10-26. Coaches Paul Dean and John Harnetty were proud of the efforts of the 12 players on the field and barring a few bad decisions and better ball retention it could have been a different story.
Rangers host Normanton at Ranger Park this sunday 11.30 kick off.