Leyland Warriors’ North West Men’s League Division Two side travelled to Manchester Sports Arena to face Manchester Rangers for the third time this year and came away 22-18 winners.
Warriors knew that with a host of experienced players unavailable, everybody was going to have to put a good shift in against the side who took two league points off them last month.
It was Leyland who settled first.
They worked their way out to the left and when they came to switch the play back to the right, the ball hit Leon Fifield in space and he scored the opening try, before adding the conversion.
Leyland were well on top but an error allowed their opponents to squeeze over in the corner to make it 6-4.
A further period of Leyland pressure saw the ball worked to the left where James Thompson stepped back inside and beat his man to score.
In a carbon copy, Warriors gifted Rangers some good field position and they were able to work an overlap and score out wide.
On the stroke of half-time, Leyland were awarded a penalty just inside Manchester’s half.
With only a few seconds remaining, Warriors opted to kick and Fifield nailed the long range goal to make it 12-8 at the break.
In the second half, Leyland struck first when Fifield took the ball in with support on both sides enabling him to shrug off a tackle and break the line.
He pinned his ears back and took Rangers’ quick full-back on the outside to finish in the corner.
Leyland extended their lead when Callum Brown was held up close to Rangers line in the left corner and Tommy Gallagher forced his way over. Fifield added the touchline conversion.
Warriors appeared to be firmly in control at this stag,e with Stew McLean and Dan Horridge pulling the strings, and they came close to adding further tries on a couple of occasions before the momentum turned.
In the space of two minutes, Ryan Sumner, Jurguen Moquete and Andy Robinson all left the field with injuries and these unplanned changes had a big effect on Leyland’s cohesion, resulting in a line break and try for the hosts.
A try out of nothing from Manchester made the score 22-18 with 10 minutes remaining.
The final few minutes saw Rangers throw everything at the Leyland line but the Warriors defence was resolute.
Leyland’s North West Men’s League Division Five side thrashed Liverpool Lions 54-12.
Warriors’ tries came from Matt Adamson (2), Niall Andrew, Martin Robinson, John Cain, Chris Maloney and a hat-trick for Nathan Blamire.
Josh Bond added a conversion and Joe Ainscough bagged eight goals from eight attempts for a perfect day with the boot.
Leyland Under-13s made it 11 wins on the run by getting the better of Westhoughton Lions.
The Warriors’ scores came from George Glover (2), Cain Thompson, Will Hague, Matthew Parkinson, Spencer Beattie, Nicky Murphy, Jack Hindle and first tries from Henry Hodson and man-of -the-match Able Sonnah.
Leyland’s conversions were added by Sulaman Randall (3), Brad Croasdale (2) and Alex Aspinall.