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Bradford Dudley Hill prove shining lights in opening win
Buy this photo » Dave Halley scoots through for Bradford Dudley Hill in their derby against Stanley Rangers
Bradford Dudley Hill 26, Stanley Rangers 22
Bradford Dudley Hill had to pull out all the stops in order to win their opening game of the National Conference League Division One season against a resolute Stanley Rangers outfit at Parry Lane tonight.
The magnificent new playing surface and the refurbished floodlights provided a stunning backdrop to the occasion, and the large crowd were delighted when home hooker Nathan Kitson set off like a hare down the touchline to plant the ball on the whitewash.
He added the extras himself and was also involved in the build-up to another sharp raid on the opposite flank that saw former Bradford Bulls speedster Dave Halley produce a clever pass to put wingman Kenny Smith over in the corner.
Hill looked menacing in the opening quarter and their dominance was emphasised with a number of huge hit-ups from substitute forward Marco Rossi.
Rangers, however, rallied in style when scrum half Craig Williamson took an inside pass to sprint to the side of the sticks, leaving his half-back partner Danny Grice to add the extras.
Hill packman Kyle Hunt then conceded a penalty and the enterprising visitors declined the easy two points and took a tap and run to send hooker Jamie Gollings to the chalk for another converted effort that saw them into the sheds 12-10 up.
The hosts' half-time pep talk clearly had a positive effect, with Halley latching onto a flat pass to run diagonally across the defence for a try near enough in from the touchline for Kitson to make sure of the extras.
Centre Jamie Steward collected from a smart show of fast hands to race over at the flag soon after, followed by a real belter from prop Adam Jefferson, who manoeuvred himself into acres of space to sprint under the uprights without a hand being laid on him.
Kitson added his third kick and Hill at last looked to be coasting to victory at 26-12.
Stanley, however, had other ideas and closed the gap with a touchdown from substitute Mufaro Mvliduau.
Hill had brief cause for concern when Williamson bagged his converted brace with four minutes to go but they took the game into the Rangers red zone and pinned them to the ropes to make sure of a win they richly deserved.