BURY Broncos were knocked off top spot by Pilkington Recs A on Saturday but only after they had given the North West Mens' League Division Two title favourites a scare.

Pilkington comfortably won the reverse fixture 32-12, but were made to work hard for their victory at the Broncos' home base at Philips High School in Whitefield before running out 13-10 winners.

The visitors took a 6-0 lead against the run of play after 15 minutes before Sean Kelly dummied his way over from close range and Andy Willis kicked the extras to level the score.

Jonathan Tindle was then unfortunate to see a try chalked off for a forward pass.

The Broncos held sway for the majority of the first half but were made to pay for missed chances after the break when Pilkington got their noses back in front with another converted try.

A drop goal followed for the visitors as they tried to quell relentless Bury pressure, but the Broncos stuck to their task and were rewarded when Brad Cave found Warren Bluer out wide and the centre showed pace and strength to score in the corner.

The Broncos were unable to find the winning try, but coach Dave Kelly believes they are well set for the play-offs, in second place with three matches of the regular season remaining.

"This result showed the team are able to compete with anyone in this division - even those able to throw in National Conference League players like Pilkington," said Kelly.

"There were too many outstanding performances to single anyone out, the forwards were outstanding and the backs always looked dangerous.

"For my money the best team on the day lost and on this form we should fear noone in the play offs."

Bury Broncos A, meanwhile, suffered a disappointing 30-16 defeat at bottom side Bolton Mets in NWML Division Four.

The went into the break 16-12 up following two tries from Lewis Higgins, a score from Billy Glossop and two conversions from Jason Rawlinson.

But Bolton coped with the squally conditions best to run in three unanswered tries after the break and leave second-bottom Broncos A with just three points from 14 matches this season.

Anyone interested in playing, coaching, or volunteering for Broncos should call Dave Kelly on 07412 802059.