Miners master miserable conditions

Leigh Miners Rangers enjoyed another win on Saturday. Photo: Brian King
Leigh Miners Rangers enjoyed another win on Saturday. Photo: Brian King

Leigh Miners Rangers 26 Rochdale Mayfield 14

Leigh Miners Rangers made it two wins from two in the league when they battled past a tough Rochdale Mayfield outfit in the rain to win 26-14 in a game played in awful conditions at a mud bath Twist Lane.

Miners made three changes from the side that comfortably beat Oxford last weekend in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with Brad Hargreaves, Danny Jackson and Jack Probert coming in for Matt Astley,Mike O’Boyle and Haydn Bud Skinkis.

It was Mayfield who opened the scoring after only a few seconds as they caught Miners off guard when they opted for the short kick off, winning the ball back to go and race into score through stand off Lewis Sheridan to make it 4-0.

Miners hit back on the 10 minute mark when loose forward Connor Ratcliffe got on the end of a neat Scott O’Brien grubber kick to score at the side of the posts, Jonny Youds adding the extras to give the score 6-4.

Five minutes later, the home side scored their second try when left centre Brad Hargreaves powered over out wide on the left, Hargreaves going over again on 25 with Youds adding the extras to give Miners a 12 point cushion leading 16-4. The Youds conversion being the last points of what was a scrappy opening forty minutes from both sides with plenty of errors in the bad conditions.

At the start of second half the heavens opened with the rain making the playing conditions worse under foot with the pitch chewing up. The rain though didn’t seem to affect the visitors early on as they scored their second try through back rower Liam Whalley.

Mayfield were in again soon after when Lewis Sheridan finished off a well-worked long range try under the posts, ex Leigh Centurions half-back Sam Butterworth adding the extras to make it 16-14 in favour of home side.

After conceding that second try in the second half, Miners woke up and while it wasn’t the fast attacking rugby they like to play, they slowly grinded away in the mud at the Mayfield defence looking to get that all important next score.

That came with just over 15 minutes remaining when scrum half Scott O’Brien dropped his shoulder to go through the Mayfield defence and send Connor Ratcliffe sliding in under the posts for his second of the afternoon, Youds landing the simple conversion to give Miners a eight point advantage leading 22-14. Youds slotted over two penalty goals in the final 10 minutes to make sure of the victory which moves Miners into second in the early season table ahead of the Easter break. In the Challenge Cup fifth round Miners will host York City Knights of League One, Sunday 19th April at LSV (2pm).

+ The Alliance team shared the spoils in a thriller at Golborne Parkside, the derby match finishing 28-28.

+ The girls’ team continue to make progress, with the women’s team hosting training sessions for all girls aged 10-16 at Kings Park Playing Fields (Leigh Road), Saturday mornings from 9.30am. Whether you are tall, small, strong or speedy, there a place for everyone on a rugby league team.

Girls who play rugby league not only find it increases their fitness levels but it also encourages teamwork and enhances communication skills. With the support of Leigh Centurions and Leigh Centurions Community Foundation, Leigh Miners Rangers Ladies open age team have decided to extend their age range to include girls aged 10-16.

All girls are welcome and prior experience is not required. Our all-female coaching team provide training sessions which are energetic, full of fun and are an excellent way to make new friends whilst developing new skills.