SLAITHWAITE Saracens have shown there’s life after the departure of four of their key performers as they secured a 12-0 home victory over Siddal A to move second in the Premier Division of the Pennine League.
The Hawkyard brothers, Ritchie and Darren, Phil Joseph and Richard Flooks have all now moved to Swinton Lions ahead of the start of the new Co-operative Championship I campaign.
But even though the quartet weren’t in Pennine top-flight action at the weekend, they still proved far too strong for their Halifax rivals as they chalked up win No5.
As usual, Slaithwaite’s replacements rose to the challenge to underline the strength of the squad, although it wasn’t until the 26th minute before they took the lead with a try from Mikey Wood, converted by Danny Garside, to make it 6-0 at the break.
In the second half, the Saracens’ defence was tested to the limit and it wasn’t until the final five minutes that they made the game safe with a Damian Kenchington try, goaled by Garside, to seal the success.
There was also an excellent win after the big freeze for Newsome Panthers, who remain at the top of Division II with a 25-18 victory at West Leeds.
They remain a point clear of Bank Top Harriers, who kept up the pressure with a 24-6 home win over Lindley Swifts.
The new year also started positively for Meltham All Blacks, who opened 2011 with a 22-8 home triumph over Stainland Stags.
Meltham were soon into their stride with a try from Josh Quarmby and Ryan White quickly followed up with the second.
At the same time, Meltham’s defence was also excellent, with new players settling in well and making a good contribution to the teams performance.
Stainland grabbed two tries at the start of the second half to force their way back, but the All Blacks responded with three further tries from Nathan Richardson (2) and Rob Lewis, with Gareth Atkinson landing the one successful conversion.
Stainland nominated Atkinson as best back, while the best forward award went to Quarmby, who was also voted Meltham’s own players’ player.
Division V leaders Slaithwaite A, however, had a disappointing start to the year as they suffered just a second defeat of the season, going down 24-16 at Guiseley Rangers.
But Moldgreen made it six wins out of six in Division VII with a 22-6 triumph at Odsal Sedbergh.