PROUD player-coach Richard Knight has hailed Underbank’s ‘awesome’ performance as his side made it third time lucky in the Co-operative Conference National Grand Final.
After losing to Bramley Buffaloes and Warrington Wizards, Rangers never looked like they would suffer a hat trick of defeats in the competition's biggest game of the season as they stormed to a 40-18 victory over Kippax Knights at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Minor champions Underbank never trailed in the contest and gained the sweetest of revenge for a home play-off defeat to the Knights 16 days ago.
But Knight felt the sweetest moment was finally tasting Grand Final success after the two previous failed attempts.
“Losing in the last two finals was really tough to take. It does hurt like hell,” said Knight.
“So coming back this year and winning it is an incredibly sweet moment. To be able to say ‘third time lucky’ is a great feeling.
“During the week we’ve tried not to focus too much on what's gone on before, but it’s obviously been at the back of our minds, and we did come here with the view this was our 'home' because we've been here in the past and Kippax haven’t.
“With the way things went, it couldn’t have gone much better. It’s an awesome feeling.”
And Knight couldn’t have been happier with the way his team rose to the occasion.
“We’ve saved our best team performance for the final, and you couldn’t ask for anything more,” he added.
“A couple of weeks ago when we played Kippax in the play-offs, there were five or six who weren’t up to scratch on the day, but they all went away thought about it and came back to give everything in the final.
“As a result, this was a game in which one to 17 was awesome and they all worked so hard for each other from the first minute to the last. The team spirit was there for all to see.
“We also made a great start to the game, which is something that hasn’t been the case for much of the season, while our discipline was also far better than it has been.
“Overall, we thoroughly deserve the win, and I couldn't be feeling prouder.”
Kippax coach Danny Burton also felt Bank's win was merited.
“I’ve no complaints at all with the result. Underbank deserved it,” he conceded.