Narrow opening win for Elland

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Elland made a good start to their National Conference League Division One season yesterday with a 24-22 home win over promoted Underbank Rangers at Greetland.

They were 20-10 up at half time in a fluctuating contest and although they tired, Elland hung on to give the new coaching team of Oliver Fairbank and Junaid Malik a successful beginning.

On a clear and sunny afternoon, captain Tom Harnett got Elland on the scoresheet after three minutes with a try under the posts following a kick through by Brad Radcliffe. Joe Nicholson converted.

Underbank responded with a an unconverted try out wide from Chris Drivett.

Elland opted to take the two points from a Nicholson penalty under the posts following a strong attack.

Sloppy tackling by Elland allowed Richard Knight to break through and score under the posts to put the visitors from Huddersfield in the lead for a brief spell.

Good backing up allowed Liam Manning to score at unconverted try wide out and another penalty kick and a try from Luke Read gave the hosts a handy 10-point interval lead.

Underbank responded with a try by Blake Hewitt, converted by Richard Pogson, but good passing down the line allowed Elland winger Nicholson to score in the corner.

Despite a further converted try from Underbank in the 78th minute, an Elland side best served by Alex Milburn had enough left to hold on.

The Joseph Fee Memorial Halifax Cup final will be contested by Ovenden and Boothtown Terriers.

Ovenden beat King Cross Park 22-16 yesterday and Terriers won 20-14 at Siddal in the other semi-final.