Brighouse beat Elland in title crunch

Rugby League - Elland v Brighouse. Ronnie Bailey for Brighouse.
Rugby League - Elland v Brighouse. Ronnie Bailey for Brighouse.

Brighouse Rangers look set to be crowned Yorkshire Men’s League Division Three champions after completing a double over closest rivals Elland yesterday.

The Russell Way side won 28-20 at Goldfields to make it seven wins out of seven in a six-team division.

Not even a storm of biblical proportions could stop Rangers from over coming their neighbours in a game which had everything.

Brighouse made a nervous start and their handling errors gifted field position to Elland, who opened the scoring.

Both sides’ defences were tested to the limited for a 10 minute period with props Sam Moon and Ronnie Bailey prominent for Brighouse.

Ben Wrightson continued to punch holes in the home side’s defence, assisted by second rower Callum Hesseltine, but it was fellow forward Matty Bailey who latched onto a short ball to level the score.

More uncharacteristic errors from Brighouse gave Elland a way back into the game as the markers at a play the ball close to the try line gifted another six points to the home side.

On 24 minutes the heavens opened and the referee deemed it too dangerous to continue because of the threat of thunder and lightning. Players and supporters ran for cover.

Play resumed after a 15-minute break and Brighouse took control. Man of the match Andy Esmond tied up the scoring just before half time and after the break classy centre Liam Stead found the ever reliable Joe Campbell, who scored in the corner. Karl Frankland landed the conversion from wide out.

Rangers’ game-breaker try came when half backs Doug Hesseltine and Troy Ambler combined to pick out Stead, who cantered down the left side to score.

Elland responded with a try in the corner but Esmond restored the healthy lead with a touch of magic, cutting through the home side and turning their full back inside out to score under the posts.

The second-placed home side continued to push Brighouse all they way, scoring again on the final whistle, but it was the men in red, amber and black who were celebrating shortly after.