Hull Dockers 18
Leigh Miners Rangers 18
Miners Rangers’ last game before their cup final date saw them share the spoils with fellow mid-table side Hull Dockers in an entertaining game at Tower Grange.
All but clear from the danger of relegation, and with the play-offs a rapidly receding goal, both sides still approached this match with plenty of endeavour and a Miners side with a number of key players absent ahead of the final, and which included coaches Allan Coleman and Paul Whitworth amongst the substitutes, earned a deserved point.
Perhaps it could have been both points after a solid performance when they carved out an 18-10 lead with 20 minutes remaining, but Dockers had a dangerous kicking game with stand-off Chris Kay putting up the bomb which led to his side’s third try and then adding a penalty to tie the scores. Both sides had drop goal attempts in the closing stages but the draw was the most equitable outcome.
Miners trailed 10-6 at the break, Danny Patrick’s break finished off by Craig Skelton for the opener for the home side, Miners responding when some good passing down the right put Andrew Groves in at the corner. Dockers nudged back ahead when centre Jamie Beaumont finished off after Kay’s kick bounced back to Dockers off the Miners’ defence.
With props Tom Farrimond and Todd Appleby and winger Andrew Hodson enjoying fine games, Miners hit back with two moments of quality to take the lead again. First Jimmy Muir spotted a gap twenty metres out and sliced through to score. Then Josh Ward dinked a clever chip over the defensive line, regathered and put Jonny Youds away to finish off.
However the killer score didn’t arrive and Dockers responded when Beaumont soared highest to claim Kay’s bomb and dive over the line. With 15 minutes remaining Kay tied matters up with a penalty and although both sides had chances to win it the draw was perhaps the fairest result.
• Miners Alliance played league leaders Folly Lane and produced a spirited showing before going down 56-26. Tries came from John Woods (2, and 2 goals), Paul Wingfield, Scott Travis and Jay Derulo. Tom Warburton also kicked a goal whilst Jason Unsworth was man of the match.
• The women’s team were stricken by injury, with only 11 players available for the trip to Oulton, and despite being ahead at half time lost out 26-20. Emma Beaton (2), Rachel Thompson, Emily Mullen and debutante Lucy Birchall scored the tries.
• The U18s beat Crosfields.
This weekend the first team are without a game but Twist Lane hosts a fundraising tournament for Braiden Lee Prescott, with a GB v South Sea Islands Masters competition on Saturday (see page nine).
On Sunday the women’s team travel to Chorley in the last game of their regular season. On Saturday the Alliance travel to Bold Miners in a relegation four pointer.