Kinsley Raiders opened their Pennine Division Two campaign with an 18-18 draw at home to Dearne Valley Bulldogs.
Kinsley included five debutants, but were still able to field a strong 17, selected from 24 available to Chris Storey and Lee Garside.
The first half was a real arm wrestle, with both teams’ defence proving solid. Skipper Adam Cooke, along with the rest of the pack, were tough in defence and there was just a solitary try each in the first half, Kinsley’s coming from winger Joe Burns on debut.
Kinsley nudged ahead after the break as outstanding forward Steve Haslam showed incredible power and strength to touch down.
Player-coach Storey showed why he is so valuable on the pitch not just off it as he set up a great try for big young centre Jordan Taylor – son of former professional and Kinsley legend Dave “Spud” Taylor.
The game swung wide open again as Dearne hit back with a try. Great work by Sam Wilson and the backs got Kinsley into a good position, though, and MOM Stu Stogden bagged himself a fine try. Another new player, winger Brandon Garside, thought he had won it for hosts with his conversation, but Dearne scored late on to tie the game.
The Neil Martin flooring MOM was Stu Stogden closely followed by Cooke despite seeing a yellow card for a shocking tackle. Thanks to sponsors Tamarind, Neil Martin flooring, Kinsley Hotel, Kinsley Timber, Chiat Storey painting & decorating and local singing sensation Chelsea Radford.