Birstall succumb to spirited Celtic

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Dewsbury Celtic 40

Birstall Victoria 0

DEWSBURY Celtic marched into the Heavy Woollen Jim Brown Cup Final with a convincing victory over Birstall Victoria.

An under-strength Birstall were without three key players who have long term injuries, Brendan Sheridan, Danny Aldridge and Leon Crick they were also missing a further four players through work commitments.

The Pennine Championship side did well to hold Celtic without scoring for the first 25 minutes of the contest at Crow Nest Park.

A solid defensive display laid the platform for Celtic’s win in their first match of the season.

Celtic winger turned second rower Jason Muranka opened the scoring when he powered in for the first of his hat-trick of tries.

Ten minutes later Liam Walmsley went over, after grounding his own kick through, leaving Celtic 12-0 up at half-time.

With the advantage of playing downhill in the second half Victoria enjoyed a spell of pressure but they failed to get over the whitewash.

Muranka was on hand to make them pay as he raced in again.

Liam Walmsley added his second try as he charged in a drop-out return to make it 24-0.

Danny Crabtree was next to score for Celtic after a neat offload from Danny Lee released him to score between the posts.

Alex Walmsley, who has been on trial for Batley Bulldogs, broke the line to put the result beyond doubt.

Muranka completed his hat-trick with a fine breakout from the line from 40 yards out to touch down in the corner.

Niki Crabtree failed with the conversion, his only miss of the afternoon.

Celtic will meet the winners of the Thornhill versus Shaw Cross semi-final after Thornhill overcame Ossett Trinity 34-6 in the first round played last Saturday.

Thornhill had Rob Kelly sent off in the first half but the 12 men proved adequate to overcome Trinity.

Sam Ratcliffe and Simon Walker led the way with a brace of tries each.

Ratcliffe also added two conversions.

Thornhill maintained the pressure with further tries for Chesanco James, Adam Bird and Jake Ratcliffe.

Former Trojan Liam Green scored a consolation try for Ossett which was converted by Simon Lindsey.

n In the Yorkshire League Batley Boys are fourth after losing 44-12 to Division One leaders Fryston Warriors.

The Boys will be hoping for better things this Saturday when they entertain bottom of the table Castleford Lock Lane at Staincliffe.

Dewsbury Celtic’s Elliott Smith

brings down

Birstall Victoria’s

Sam Carroll (28011282)

Pictures: Ken Mann