IF this is a taste of the competition former Pennine League Premier Division side Slaithwaite Saracens are about to face in the Championship Division, then it come prove very entertaining!
The Saracens’ new line-up were forced to battle all the way in their opening game of the season to secure a hard-fought 20-10 home triumph over Chequerfield Rangers.
The hosts were understandably a little rusty at the start of the game and it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead after four minutes with a converted try.
But then the Saracens started to settle, and Simon Birkinshaw scored his side’s first try of the season after 20 minutes and Ben Feehan levelled the scores with the conversion.
And three minutes scrum half William Broadbent-Allen finished off a sweeping went for converted try No2.
But on the stroke of half time the visitors forced their way over to reduce the deficit to 12-10 at the break.
The Saracens started the second half brightly and after 10 minutes hard-grafting Aaron Crabtree crashed over to extend the lead.
All three new signings, Ward, Nelmes and Oakes got some time on the field in the second half and fitted in well in this tough encounter.
With 15 minutes remaining man-of-the-match Birkinshaw showed his class to go over for his second try, and the Saracens defence held firm to seal the win.
But, arguably, an even more entertaining game took place in Championship I as Lindley Swifts and Newsome Panthers were involved in a thrilling 24-24 derby draw.
At the same time, Meltham All Blacks were suffering a 24-16 home defeat to Victoria Rangers in the battle of the top two in Division IV.
Even though Meltham were beaten, they still produced a very good display against a bigger and more experienced Rangers side.
Tryscorers for the All Blacks were Ryan White (2) and Josh Worrall, who also added one goal each.