National Conference: Winning start for Dewsbury Celtic, Shaw Cross Sharks and Thornhill Trojans
Harry Copley led the way with a hat-trick of tries as Dewsbury Celtic eased to a 52-18 triumph over local rivals Batley Boys in their opening National Conference game of the new season.
In a League E match Charlie Heaton chipped in with two tries and four goals for Celtic, while Jack Kelly bagged a brace and there was one try each from Pat Foulstone, Nathan Waring, Anthony Dunford and Jermaine Akadaire.
Aaron James crossed twice for the Boys, Adam Bingham contributed a try and two goals and Declan Tomlinson improved one score.
Batley host Eastmoor Dragons this Saturday while Celtic face another local derby at Shaw Cross Sharks on Friday night.
The Sharks made a winning start when they edged out Gateshead Storm 28-22 in their first League E fixture.
Both sides posted five tries, but Shaw Cross prevailed thanks to four goals by Brad Baines. The hosts’ Jack Earl had only one success with the boot from five testing attempts – his conversion of Joe Harrison-Brown’s last-minute try, which came too late to rescue a game in which the Sharks had led 28-8 with 10 minutes left.
Their try scorers were Nathan Wright (two), Joe Russell, Eoin Bowie and Harry Scholes.
Dewsbury Moor Maroons lost a Cross League match 32-10 at Siddal.
They earned plaudits for a battling performance against the Premier Division giants in a match switched to Halifax.
Siddal, who were 8-0 up inside 14 minutes, closed with a brace apiece for Lewis Hosty and Liam Cox while Liam Whitton and Sam Walsh also swept in and Gareth Blackburn landed four goals. Moor responded through Kieran Dean and Tobias Richardson, with Aiden Ineson adding a conversion.
The Maroons will get more of a measure of where they are at when they are at home to Gateshead this Saturday.
In League F there was an encouraging first game for Thornhill Trojans as they won 44-10 at Drighlington.
The Trojans put on a confident show with Harry Woollard grabbing a hat-trick of tries.
Thornhill’s squad has been bolstered this season with the return of a number of familiar players to the club. Josh Clough and Adam Johnson are two of these and both played their part in the opening day victory.
Joel Gibson was another player who shone in the game with some dangerous runs and great kicking which caused the hosts numerous problems. The official man of the match award went to Jake Wilson as he led the Trojans’ forward pack.
It was Wilson who scored the game’s opening try when he finished a move created by Luke Haigh. Inside Drighlington’s half ,Haigh made a strong break and Wilson was up in support to take the pass and score a try between the posts. Gibson converted.
Some great passing from Thornhill then over stretched the Drighlington defence. The ball travelled along the attacking line until it reached Woollard, who strode through a gap to go over for a try. Gibson converted.
Sam Ratcliffe set up the next attack as he went charging up field. Gibson was up in support to finish and added the goal.
Gibson turned creator as he stepped away at pace to go on a long range run, drawing the last remaining Drighlington defender to put Woollard over for his second try. Gibson converted to see the Trojans leading 24-0 at the interval.
The second half started with Drig piling on the pressure to test the Thornhill defence. Eventually this paid off and Steve Meldrum went over for an unconverted try in the corner.
However, Drig could not capitalise any further and Thornhill once again got into their stride. A good passing interchange involving Haigh and Gibson saw the defence undone and George Woodcock crossed for a try. Gibson again converted.
Jordan Lowther then looked to have crossed for a try near to the corner, but he was held just short. The ball was swiftly moved to the other side of the field, however, for Johnson to score in the corner.
A towering kick from Gibson came down near to the try-line. Woollard leapt high to collect and complete his hat-trick with Declan Kaye converting.
Thornhill scored their eighth and final try when Lowther broke away and sent out a pass which put Kaye over.
Trojans host Skirlaugh in a Cross League match this Saturday.