Stanley Rangers U15s hosted West Bowling u15’s in the next round of the BARLA Cup. Rangers beening 25 places and 2 divisions behind West Bowling went into the game massive underdogs.
Stanley started the game slowly and were behind early after a score out wide, Bowling leading 0-4. Stanley did get a foothold in the game with good work from the pack - Medlock,Talbot, Govoskiej, Hampshire and Owen Hopkinson lead by impressive hooker Gilfeather, drawing men in and giving space to Harnetty and Wheelhouse in the halfs to spread the ball for Moore to break but unfortunately, he lost the ball on his way into touch. With the backs taking pressure off the forwards and returning the ball at pace Roberts, Bradbury, Moore, Kay and Danny Earnshaw made some great metres,but it was West Bowling who struck again with a run from dummy half to power over 0-8. Stanley playing up hill would have been happy with the 0-8 scorline at halftime, but that wasn’t to be the case. Some powerful runs from Hopkinson, Medlock and the Powerful Lewis Kelly earned Rangers a penalty under the posts a couple of quick paces later and some fast feet from Earnshaw and Rangers were over, converted by Gilfeather, 6-8 at half time.
Stanley started the 2nd half the better and started to put pressure on Bowling, forcing a goal line dropout after a great kick by Wheelhouse and with a penalty soon following for offside, Stanley chose to level the scores up 8-8. Unfortunately Rangers then made a mistake straight from the kick off and Bowling forced their way over under the sticks for a 14-8 lead. Rangers didn’t panic and with 10 minutes to go worked their way into a great position for Hopkinson to power over, conversion missed by Gillfeather 12-14. Rangers then had the best of the game at the end but a few poor paces meant they run out of time, making .12-14 the final score. Owen Hopkinson picked up the Man of the Match award and head coach Paul Dean couldn’t have been prouder of his team: "we battled hard against better ranked opponents and more then held our own, better composure at the end and we would have won the game, with no disrespect shown to West Bowling the best team lost today."
The lads will now take a well deserved break for Christmas and return in January for preseason.