BURY Broncos remain four points clear at the top of North West Men's League Division Two despite falling to a 16-12 defeat at home to Halton Farnworth Hornets.

The home side had scraped victories in recent weeks despite putting in below-par displays, but while they upped their game against the Hornets were unable to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Head coach Liam Owen said: “The loss was hard to take as we were the better team but Halton took their opportunities fantastically well.

"We know how to put it right and we will – tight games like that can always go either way; this week we were unlucky to lose out."

Broncos had an early Abdou Radwan try ruled out after he was adjudged to have put his foot into touch while grounding the ball in the corner.

A Hornets break brilliantly stopped by Will Spencer was the only other scoring chance of a scoreless first half.

Halton finally opened the scoring in the second half when their winger ran on to a probing kick by the half back.

But Broncos soon hit back when a nicely weighted kick from stand-off Joe Wilkinson was seized upon by winger Jonathon Tindale who, despite being tackled by two defenders, managed to ground the ball near the touchline.

Tindale's try was converted by Harry Coleman to give the home side a narrow lead but they were not in front for long when their scrum half dived over for a converted try.

In a nip and tuck finale, Broncos went back in front from when strong running from Martin Wilcock set up the next score for Bury's Sean Kelly and Coleman again converted. But the visitors capitalised on a one-on-one at the end to take victory.

Elsewhere, Broncos A fell to a 34-16 defeat at Garswood Stags in Division Four.