METHLEY Royals, with two players on debut and another making his first appearance this season, stepped up their Pennine League Division One championship bid by beating leaders Upton 16-4.
Second-placed Methley are now just two points behind Upton and have two games in hand.
The Royals defended superbly and scored three great tries after missing a string of other chances.
New signings Alan White, at centre, and Carlos Sanchez, who went into the pack off the bench, were outstanding in their first outings after transferring from Oulton Raiders. Substitute hooker Jarred Willshaw also shone in his first competitive game since May.
In a defence-dominated first-half, Methley fell behind shortly before the break when a penalty conceded on the last tackle gifted Upton the territory from which Steve Beale crossed to put the visitors 4-0 up.
Methley continued to miss chances until, on 55 minutes, prop Adam Biscomb charged onto loose forward Lee Starbuck’s superb pass and raced 65 yards to the corner for a great try.
Sanchez then slipped a pass out of a tackle to Reece Willshaw who sent Dave Williams romping over.
White’s clever break led to Stu Biscomb crossing and Sam Payne kicked his second goal to seal victory. Winger Josh Dixon was unlucky in the closing stages to be brought back for a forward pass.
Half-backs Chris Woolford and Matty Handforth were outstanding for Methley who have another big home match on Saturday when they host Newsome Panthers, who are behind Methley on points’ difference.
Kellingley Welfare dug deep to defeat Farnley 28-14 in a hard-fought Division Four match.
Both teams defended excellently in a scoreless opening 20 minutes, with Danny Aldred, Tim Morrell, Lee Clift, Ste Gale and Mark Stansfield leading the way for Kellingley.
MOM Billy Ainley broke the deadlock by bursting through to score a try that Davy Holtam converted.
Liam Gale then broke clear and combined with Perry Austerberry to set up a try for Aiden Silburn before Jack Taylor went in shortly before half time to put Kellingley further ahead.
Farnley scored twice to haul themselves back into the game but Kellingley struck an important blow when Adam Baxter found space down the wing to score. Baxter then sent in Brandon Neilson who converted his own try before Liam Gale powered over to seal victory.
Jamie Blythe, Josh Pilkington, Paul Downy, William Stanfield all impressed for Kellingley whose outstanding teamwork gave them a decisive edge.
Saturday’s other Pennine League results included:
Championship Division: Nevison Leap walk-over v Ackworth Jaguars.
Division One: Morley Borough 42, Allerton Bywater 24; Birkenshaw 28, Castleford Panthers 20.
Division Two: Brotherton Bulldogs 10, Emley Moor 32.