July 3 Gillette Conference Youth League Round-up
By Gareth Marshall
KEIGHLEY COUGAR CUBS claimed a 50-16 win over the SADDLEWORTH RANGERS on Friday night, but the game was a lot closer than the score line suggests.
On five occasions, the Rangers had three consecutive sets deep in Keighley territory, but good home defence ultimately thwarted the visitors.
The Cougar Cubs had raced into a 32-6 lead at the break, with tries from Anthony Chapman (2), Jordan Aitchison (2), Aaron Nicholson and Josh Ives. Thomas Hurdes touched down with the only Saddleworth try of the half.
Nathan Jewit and Sam Rhodes did cross over with tries for Rangers in the second period. But they couldn’t turn all that pressure into points and Keighley were able to convert their opportunities. Their tries in the second half came from Aitchison, Ben Stead and James Pickles.
A clinical second half performance by the HUNSLET WARRIORS ensured they beat GATESHEAD THUNDER comfortably, with the score finishing 60-8 in the home sides favour.
Elliot Miller (2), Joe Potifa and Joe Phrush ran in the Warriors’ tries in the first half. The Thunder’s James Pocklington, the away side’s best player in the match, replied with a solitary try in the opening half for his side.
Stewart Zubrzycki added a further score for Hunslet early in the second half, before Pocklington responded with a try for Gateshead. But from then on, the Warriors really hit top gear. Further second half tries from Zubrzycki, Potifa, Elliot Morgan (2), Kyle Boardman and John Lumm added plenty of gloss to the full time score.
Arran Brown’s crucial try on 52 minutes was the turning point in a tight match as CASTLEFORD LOCK LANE came away from the HEMEL STAGS with a 24-32 victory.
With just 14 points separating the teams at a time when both sides looked likely to score, winger Brown capitalised on a Stags fumble from a speculative kick to cross over for the game breaker.
Lock Lane edged it 12-16 at the break, with first half tries from Michael McCartin (2), Ben Kendrew and Ben Thompson. Tyler Hurst and Ryan Musgrove crossed over for the home side.
McCartin then completed his hat-trick five minutes after the restart before Brown’s decisive score. However, the Hertfordshire side responded well from this set back. Wes Read powered over from close range after a long run from Cameron Furlong on 59 minutes, and just a minute later Khalil Njoja touched down.
With Joe Hales converting both tries, the Stags were just six points behind at 24-30 with 20 minutes remaining. Kendrew kicked a penalty for Lock Lane with just over 10 minutes remaining and that ultimately secured the two points for Castleford.
INCE ROSE BRIDGE salvaged a point at CROSFIELDS, with the match ending in a 30-30 draw.
The Wigan side were 6-24 ahead at the interval and looked on course to seal their 11th win of the campaign. But Crosfields scored 22 unanswered points in the first 23 minutes of the second half to stun Rose Bridge.
But Adam Jones crossed over on 67 minutes for the visitors to make the score 30-28. And with just over 10 minutes remaining, loose forward Kenny Baker kicked a penalty to level the match.
The RYLANDS SHARKS’s defensive dominance in the second period helped them to seal a 28-16 win over the NORTH WALES CRUSADERS.
Tries from Ben Walker and Will Dawbarn inside the first five minutes of the game gave Rylands the perfect start. But a converted Andrew Oakden try and a Tom Pruderch score for North Wales levelled the match at 10 a piece with 25 minutes played. Colin Wright then crossed over for the home side, before Oakden once more replied for the visitors. That was before Wright added his second try of the match on the stroke of half time to give the Sharks a 18-16 lead at the interval.
From then on the home side made use of their good work in defence to comfortably seal the win. Further tries from Lewis Litherland and Dawbarn tied up the two points for the Warrington outfit.
Elsewhere, WIGAN ST JUDES ran out 76-4 winners over the LEIGH MINERS RANGERS and bottom side WIDNES WEST BANK went down 4-30 at home to LEIGH EAST.
Hemel Stags 24 Castleford Lock Lane 32
Hunslet Warriors 60 Gateshead Thunder 8
Keighley Cougar Cubs 50 Saddleworth Rangers 16
Crosfields 30 Ince Rose Bridge 30
Rylands Sharks 28 North Wales Crusaders 16
Widnes West Bank 4 Leigh East 30
Wigan St Judes 76 Leigh Miners Rangers 4
(all matches to be played on Sunday 10th July unless otherwise stated)
Dewsbury Celtic v Castleford Lock Lane
East Leeds v Bradford Dudley Hill
Gateshead Thunder v Keighley Cougar Cubs
Holderness Vikings v Hunslet Warriors
Saddleworth Rangers v Milford Marlins (Friday 8th July, 19.30 kick off)
CPC Bears v Wigan St Judes
Crosfields v Leigh East (Thursday 7th July, 19.30 kick off)
Ince Rose Bridge v Halton Farnworth Hornets
Leigh Miners Rangers v Widnes West Bank
North Wales Crusaders v Thatto Heath Crusaders
West Cumbria v Rylands Sharks