ST JOSEPH’S bounced back from last week’s Holliday Cup semi-final defeat to Moldgreen by securing an excellent 32-16 Pennine League Premier Division triumph over Kippax Welfare.
The victory helped coach Keith Senior’s side move four points clear of second-bottom Queensbury and level on points with Kippax and Clayton.
But in the first half, it looked as if it could be another day of disappointment for the Fartown-based side.
After a cautious opening, the home side took the lead with a Ben Lewis try before Kippax struck back with two converted tries to take a 12-6 interval lead.
However, in the second half it was a totally different story.
Within minutes of the restart, the St Joseph’s forwards had taken total control, laying the foundations for tries from Neil Barrett, Joe Flaherty and Lee St Hilaire to take them into a 22-12 lead.
The visitors showed great character to hit back for a second time to reduce the deficit to six points.
But St Joseph’s superior fitness told in the closing stages as they ran in two late tries from Phil Simpson and Richard Aka, with Barrett finishing with four conversions to complete the scoring.
The Huddersfield club’s man-of-the-match was Graham Hyland, closely followed by Phil Drain and St Hilaire.
There was also an excellent Second Division victory for Newsome Panthers, who proved far too strong for Stanningley A.
The second-placed home side stormed to a 38-4 win to keep the pressure on leaders Emley Moor, who had a blank weekend.
But there was disappointment for in-form Underbank Rangers, whose march up the Division IV table was halted at Liversedge, 38-12.