SLAITHWAITE Saracens maintained their excellent start to their Pennine League First Division season with a hard-fought 24-8 triumph at Emley Moor.
All the indications ahead of kick-off were that fourth-placed Moor would make life tough for the leaders – and that was certainly the case.
Although the visitors made an excellent start with an early try from Darren Hawkyard, which Danny Garside just failed to convert, it soon developed into a typical blood and thunder derby clash, and by half-time the home side had nudged 8-4 ahead.
They took the lead midway through the half with a converted try in the corner.
And matters got worse for Slaithwaite with Lee McAfferty sin-binned for questioning the referee’s decision, and four minutes later Emley extended their lead with a penalty for offside.
But just before McAfferty returned, Joe Worthington was sent off for an off-the-ball incident, and Saracens’ hopes of securing a seventh League victory of the season looked to be in jeopardy.
In the second half, however, they showed why they are top of the table and favourites to gain promotion to the Premier Division.
Within two minutes of the restart Hawkyard crossed for his second try and Garside goaled to give the Saracens a lead they were never to lose.
Ten minutes later Richard Flooks extended the lead with his side’s third try before David Holmes added No4.
The momentum was lost when Stuart Dunbar was sin-binned for questioning a referee’s decision, but Emley were still unable to break the Saracens’ defence, and on the stroke of full-time Flooks added his second and Garside landed the conversion to put the icing on the cake.