Lock Lane 35 Leigh Miners Rangers 24
Miners Rangers went down to a disappointing defeat in a game they will feel they could and should have won.
While Lane currently sit top of the Premier Division they appear a pale imitation of the side that finished third and convincingly thrashed Miners twice in 2013, and whilst the Leigh side played some enterprising rugby and showed great commitment to keep pushing to the end they also made too many mistakes in attack and defence with the home team taking full advantage.
In bitterly cold conditions at a bleak Castleford Miners drew first blood when Kieron Eccleston did well to take the pass and dived over the whitewash, Jonny Youds adding the conversion.
But Lane hit back immediately as Miners turned possession over inside their own thirty, the ball moved left for Tom Wood to score out wide. Before the clock read 10 minutes Lane were ahead, Miners kicking the restart out on the full and from the penalty position the big prop broke the line and offloaded to the supporting Nathan Fozzard to cross under the posts and 10-6.
Miners dominated play for long spells but were unable to find a way through as Shaun Dowie, again impressive at fullback, was held up over the line, and they remained vulnerable to the quick counter as Chris Siddons broke clear and offloaded for Mikey Hayward but the scoring pass was adjudged to have gone forward.
Early in the second half and this time Miners were denied a try claim for a forward pass, winger Jack Probert fielding a kick inside his twenty and making a surging run upfield, drawing the fullback but his offload to Youds likewise – and correctly – deemed an infringement by the officials. Lane took full advantage with two tries, first to Chris Siddons and then, after Miners threw possession away from their own scrum, Craig Duncan, opening up a 22-6 lead. With the game seemingly slipping away from them Miners rallied and two quick tries had the game right back in the balance.
First Eccleston dummied and went through for his second try and then Adam Thomason drove to the line and managed to wrestle his way over the whitewash.
Although Danny Rowse dropped a goal between these two Miners tries the difference was now just five points and the momentum appeared with the visitors. Lane restored their cushion when a high kick to the wing was palmed back for Fozzard to swoop in for his second but Miners responded immediately as the try-scorer then spilled the restart and Aaron Gorton darted from the base of the resultant scrum to break through and score.
With Miners needing to chance their arm in search of victory they surrendered possession inside their twenty and Lane scored with the final play, Jordan Siddons forcing his way over to seal victory.
The under-18s went down to league defeat at Blackbrook, a costly first half when they trailed 20-0 proving the difference.
Miners’ tries came from Elliot Liku (2), Jamie Hall and Chris Worrall, Adam Ashurst with 2 goals as they eventually lost 36-20.
It’s a triple bill of Twist Lane action across the weekend starting on Friday as the Alliance host Woolston, 7.30pm and on Saturday the first team entertain league new-boys East Leeds 2.30pm. The under-18s are at home to Ince Rose Bridge on Sunday 1pm.