The first televised NCL game of the season saw Wath Brow Hornets come out on top 26-14 against local rivals Egremont Rangers on home turf.
In an entertaining clash, it was Wath Brow who did all the early running with Ellison Holgate a constant threat out of dummy half and a pack that got them into good positions.
Hornets opened the scoring after nine minutes when Charlie Thomlinson drove low from close range. Cole Walker-Taylor converted but couldn't add another goal moments later after Sam Curwen scored the first of his two tries from Dean Rooney's slide rule kick. Leading 10-0, the hosts were good value but Egremont Rangers hit back and were rewarded when a superb long ball from Billy Thompson brought some magic feet from Matt Bewsher and a score. Thompson's goal made it 10-6.
Pat Wells was then dismissed after 23 minutes for a dangerous-looking tackle on Brow's second-row Clarke Riley.
This seemed to galvanize the visitors and Rangers went close to scoring on a couple of occasions before Hornets ran in their third try on the cusp of half-time. It came from Holgate again, he dashed down the left and Curwen crossed in support to make it 14-6 at the break.
Egremont made a great start to the second half and when Thompson put a kick left, the visitors managed to work the ball wide and Bewsher claimed his second try.
Wath Brow quelled their visitors' enthusiasm for a short time when Callum Farrer crossed by the posts and Walker-Taylor goaled to stretch the advantage to ten points. Egremont roared back and a lovely switch pass inside saw Sam Appleby touch down. Unfortunately for Rangers, the kick fell short but the visitors were now enjoying their best spell and were unlucky when Joe Bold was hauled down short, and then Kieran Glenn couldn't quite get on the end of a kick through.
Sensing the closeness of the game, Wath Brow twice went for drop goals but neither Rooney nor Walker-Taylor could find the mark, and it was left to Riley to win it for the hosts as he chased through on a high kick. Walker-Taylor rounded off the scoring with his third goal and the Hornets won 26-14.