BURY Broncos' bid to attract more people to try their hand at rugby league looks to be bearing fruit following their B team's battling 30-30 draw against Merit League leaders Littleborough.

It was the scratch side's first run-out of the season, giving new converts to the game a taste of the action in a more friendly atmosphere than the rough and tumble of the competitive North West Men's League.

Coach Dave Kelly said: “Thanks to Littleborough who took the fixture at very short notice and allowed us to play 18.

"This game showed the value of the third team, enabling several rugby union lads to try the game.

"It was a fine effort from a Bury side who gelled pretty well considering this was the first game of the season for many of them, and that one or two were completely new to the game.

"Anyone else wanting to try the sport with the B team is very welcome."

The Broncos showed great spirit, responding after going behind early on. Jonathan Tindale equalised after getting on the end of a long ball from Steve Critchley, who kicked the extras, one of five successful conversions on the day.

Littleborough scored three more tries, but each time Broncos hit back to level.

Jake Bolton ran 90 metres to run in Broncos' second try following a well-timed interception.

The two sides were locked at 12-12 at half time and while Littleborough were once against first to score, half-back Sean Kelly hit back with a third equaliser, and then added a fourth following another score from the visitors.

Broncos got their noses in front for the first time with five minutes remaining when Joe Mulligan raced under the posts after gathering a bomb from Grant Carr.

They were unable to hold on to their lead however, and after Littleborough hauled themselves back level the visitors were unlucky to see a late drop goal attempt hit the bar.

Ushering in new players gently through the B team is part of a two-pronged approach adopted by the club to boost their numbers.

They have also recently set up a new under-7s side to shape the youngest minds and bodies at an earlier age than previously attempted.

It is still only early days, but the u7s' first ever match against Cadishead Rhinos at home to Cadishead Rhinos proved a roaring success.

Chairman Ryan Lewis said: "The youngsters had a fun-filled morning with parents encouraging all the kids as they learned new skills."

The first team remain at the top of the NWML Division Two despite not playing last weekend, but the B team were unable to build on a first win of the season last time out, losing 20-10 at home to Little Hulton Reds.

Scores from Andrew Wills and Nathan Rushton gave them a 10-4 advantage at the break but Little Hulton took the points after running in three unanswered tries in the second half.

Bury Broncos are always looking for new players at all ages. Anyone interested can contact Jean Palin on 07909 752865.