Queensbury 6 Clayton 26

CLAYTON pulled off one of the biggest giant-killing feats in the history of the Jack Senior Bradford Cup with a 26-6 semi-final win against Queensbury at Deanstones Lane.

The Villagers, who operate three divisions below Bury in the Pennine pecking order, oozed confidence in the opening exchanges before they had to man up in defence to bundle wingman Josh Boulger into the dead ball area to deny the hosts.

The deadlock was broken on the half hour mark when Clayton switched the ball to the blindside to send wingman Josh Lanfear sprinting to the whitewash, leaving centre Ryan Wilkinson to tag on the extras.

Queensbury responded by raising the tempo with packmen Jack Evison and Joe Flanagan leading the charge.

But disaster struck when a speculative pass was intercepted by Wilkinson on his own 20-metre line and he pinned back his ears to sprint the huge distance to the posts and added the conversion himself.

The big question at the interval was could Clayton keep up the pace and successfully defend their 12-0 lead.

The answer came immediately following the restart when prop forward Jamie Waterman put his head down to batter his way to the side of the uprights and hooker Phil Redgrave made sure of full reward.

Any thoughts of a home surrender were quickly dispelled when they set up camp in the visiting red zone and – after Lanfear was caught lying on in the tackle – a crisp passing move sent second row forward Luke Cheney galloping his way over, and stand off Jonny Norman added the extra two.

Bury substitute John Farr relieved the pressure for the Villagers when he was caught not square at the ruck and Wilkinson made no mistake with the penalty.

Bury were convinced that they had clawed back the deficit on the hour when full back Gregg Marriot claimed he had planted the ball over the line in heavy traffic, but referee Bob Ingham who was on the spot decided he was inches short.

The game was effectively determined with ten minutes to go when the industrious Redgrave spotted the narrowest of gaps to pick up from acting half to burrow his way over and Wilkinson formally added the extras for the wining total.

Clayton celebrated in style at the final hooter and will meet Victoria Rangers in the final at the Provident Odsal Stadium on Sunday, May 1.