With the 2017 season looming Rangers u10"s started to ramp up their preparations with a visit to local rivals Oldham St Annes.
Having never previously recorded a victory against the Higginshaw Rd outfit, it was a tall challenge for Rangers first outing of the year, as they got to grips with the new seasons rule changes but any apprehension was short lived. Rangers kicked off with a large and expectant local crowd anticipating resumption of normal service.
How wrong they were as the half back trio of Ballan, Grafton and Melling set about dismantling the Saints defence, as they released the destructive running of the Rangers forwards.
A series of powerful drives from Evans, Sothcott, Aslam, Hynes and Thompson was finished by a bullocking run to the corner from Enziano, which saw him cross for the first try, which he duly converted.
A stunned Saints started to rally but they fell short and their resurgence was ended, as Melling crossed for Rangers second try just before the break to take the score to 10-0 at half time.
(Pictured above - the boys at last December's presentation evening)
With the second Half underway Saints hit back with 2 unanswered converted tries but the rangers weren't done there. Determined defence and great tactical kicking saw Rangers back in Saints territory with minutes left on the clock, when Orme took a short ball for a mazy run and crossed the whitewash for Rangers third, which he converted.
In the dying moments of the game, with seconds left on the clock, Saints made another rear guard effort but the Rangers were having none of it and ferocious tackling on the flanks from Bates, McKimm and Hibbert saw the Rangers defence hold firm, as Jackson gathered a grubber on his own line to clear from fullback for a 16-12 final score.
A magnificent start to the season by Rangers, which brought praise from the stunned Saints coaching team, who described the Rangers as the most improved side they had ever seen. A great performance from all the team and a taster of things to come for the forthcoming season.
Well done to all the boys !