HUDDERSFIELD Underbank Rangers maintained their winning start to the season with a 36-10 National Conference win over Carlisle Centurions.
The game was never a classic and tended to be more scrappy the longer the contest progressed.
Rangers were quick out of the blocks and posted their first score after five minutes when full-back Chris Thorley launched a bomb which his opposite number Adam Pate fumbled. Darren Hawkyard scooped up the loose ball and handed on to the available hooker Joe Worthington who raced over for the opening score.
Thorley added the goal and repeated the feat five minutes later when Worthington scooted over for his second try from five metres out.
The position had been set up by a Neil Barrett interception with Carlisle on the attack.
The lead was increased in the 20th minute with a Nick Bellas score in the corner after Thorley had broken clear, following good work from prop forward Matt Lodge.
At this point Rangers were in control and it looked ominous for the Cumbrian visitors, but to their credit they hit back with two quick scores of their own.
Firstly hooker Carl Barnes burrowed over after centre Steve Potter had set up the position, and then Pate broke the defensive line and raced over for a tremendous score.
Halfback Craig Brierley converted the first try.
Rangers responded with two scores of their own before the break.
Centre Tom Senior grabbed the first as he swooped onto a deft Hawkyard chip kick through and then Lee St Hilaire finished a seven-man move.
The second half was a fragmented affair as neither side seemed to want possession.
However, the half started brightly as Shaun Mitchell took a ‘bomb’ and released Thorley on a scintillating race from 60m to the line.
Rangers could have increased their lead soon after as both Thorley and Senior had scores wiped out due to an obstruction in back play and a double movement respectively.
The scrappiness of the game was illustrated when Carlisle stand-off Craig Stalker broke superbly, but when looking for support on his left only found the touch-judge with the offload.
His brother Martin and fellow back rower Andy Sawyers both made telling breaks, but the opportunities came to nothing.
The scoring was completed with a touchdown from debutante Mitchell.
Rangers coach Richard Knight praised the early start to the game but he said: “We were poor in our completion rates in the second half, we were sloppy in our ball control, and we will have to improve greatly in this performance when we travel to Bramley next weekend.”
However he was pleased to capture the three points and remain unbeaten.
Underbank: Thorley; St Hilaire, Mitchell, Senior, Bellas; Barrett, Browne; Valentine, Worthington, Lodge, Flaherty, O’Brien, Hawkyard. Interchange (all used): McCluskey, Vinaka, Keegan, Lofthouse.
Carlisle: Pate; Davis, Weatherall, Potter, Bullman; C Stalker, C Brierley; Dalton, Barnes, Holcroft, M Stalker, Sawyers, Dodd. Interchange (all used): Bibby, McGregor, S Brierley, Jackson.