Dalton 22 Brighouse Rangers 37

DALTON finished second-best again at Kelland Park after going down 37-22 to Brighouse Rangers in Pennine League Division One.

The home side had managed to claw the deficit back to just three points after trailing by 13 at one stage, but Brighouse were able to survive and pull away again with influential half-backs Karl Frankland and Ben Drewden, and centre Liam Stead doing the damage.

It was Stead who stunned the home side when the game was barely a minute old, romping down the touchline to score from 50 metres out, with Frankland converting.

Dalton rallied after this early setback and were unfortunate not to respond immediately when Jack Gelding was tackled into touch while trying to get the ball down over the line.

Ben Smith and Matty Bolton were then both held up just short of the line.

Brighouse moved further ahead when Drewden’s long pass opened up a gap for Jordan Sild to score, followed by Frankland again adding the extras.

Good defence from Gelding to smother the ball after Frankland’s chip forward and an interception from player-coach Craig Regan snuffed out two more attacks from the away side, with Dalton getting on the scoresheet when Ryan Johnston chased down his own kick to score and then convert.

A drop-goal from prop Lee Robinson saw Brighouse go in 13-6 up at the break, but the hosts got back to within one point when Johnston plucked the ball out of the air and raced in for a converted score from deep inside his own half.

Two quick tries saw Rangers surge ahead though – the first coming when Drewden put Ben Ward through to score, and the second two minutes later after the ball was moved wide for Sild to grab his second, with both converted by Frankland.

Johnston’s kick to the corner saw Matt Bamber reach up and dot down for Dalton, with Johnston then getting another try of his own after darting through the defence to further close the gap.

But another try apiece for Stead and Sild, with Frankland again converting the two scores, saw Brighhouse run out winners and leave Dalton bottom of Division One.