Miners earn a point away from home

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Skirlaugh 24 Leigh Miners Rangers 24

Leigh Miners travelled home from Humberside with a first away point of the season after drawing 24-24 with Skirlaugh.

The result left both sides happy not to have lost the match but frustrated not to have won it in a game which was played in the right spirits by two committed sides but spoiled at times by some contentious refereeing decisions. The first half belonged to the home side with them having the majority of the possession and field position, Miners not helping themselves in those areas by turning the ball over cheaply and inviting Skirlaugh to attack their line.

It took Skirlaugh just short of the half hour to post their first points of the day, finally breaking down a stubborn Miners defence who had been reduced to 12 men after stand off Kieran Eccleston had been sin binned for dissent to score on the right side, the home side scored a second try just before Miners were restored to 13 to make the score 12-0. Miners hit back right on half time after Skirlaugh let a high kick bounce, the ball landing in prop Darryl Appleby’s hands who then went on to dive over at the side of the posts to score, Jonny Youds adding the extras to make the half time score 12-6 in favour of Skirlaugh.

Miners improved in the second half and got themselves within two points of the home side when the outstanding Shaun Dowie finished off a well worked try to score out wide on the left to make the score 12-10.

Miners hit the front for the first time when Youds got on the end of a Scott O’Brien chip kick to score at the side of the posts, converting his own try to make the score 16-12 as the game went into the final quarter. The home side hit back with a converted try before Youds levelled the scores up at 18-18 with about 10 minutes remaining with a penalty goal. Skirlaugh thought they would be picking up their first win of the season when they scored a fourth converted try inside the final ten minutes to make the score 24-18 but with four minutes remaining Miners replied with a try from winger Shaun MacDonald who scored out wide on the left, Youds kicking into the wind and converting from near the touchline to tie the game up at 24-24.

Skirlaugh saw a long range drop goal attempt drift well wide in the closing minutes and when Miners were getting themselves into drop goal territory in the last minute the touch judge had one more say in the game when he entered the field of play to award a penalty against the visitors.

+ The Alliance team had a resounding 52-0 win over Portico Vine whilst the under-18s went down to a narrow defeat at Wigan St Patricks. The women’s team maintained their unbeaten start with a 40-16 win over Rochdale Hornets.

+ This weekend the first team have a free weekend, the Alliance travel to Culcheth in a cup tie, whilst on Sunday the under-18s host Orrell St James and the women travel to Wigan St Pats.

+ Miners under-18s lost 22-34 at Wigan St Pats, tries from Elliot Liku, Adam Smith, Mark Nicholson and Alex McPolin, Adam Ashurst with three goals.