Leigh Miners Rangers produced an exhilarating display to end West Hull’s seven match winning streak in style and leapfrog their opponents into third place.
Whilst the scoreline doesn’t reflect the hard-fought nature of the game, it does firmly illustrate Miners’ qualities in attack and defence as they threw up an impenetrable stone wall in front of their line and then showed clinical precision in attack to record the win. Jonny Youds deservedly claimed the MoM award with an 18 point haul but in truth it was hard to single out any one player in what was a monumental all round team effort.
Miners made the perfect start as Ross Bradley drew in two defenders before slipping the pass to Martin Gray to finish at the corner, Youds goaling, but Miners’ defensive qualities had to come to the fore thereafter as Darryl Kay, Lee Gittins and Danny Jackson worked hard to prevent the visitors from responding.
Miners then showed their ruthlessness in attack with two tries in three minutes, first as Adam Thomason displayed neat footwork near the line to dance over for the try and then Gittins with a tremendous burst of pace from halfway, searing through the defence and handing off the fullback to score a brilliant solo effort.
Again Miners had to defend, Wests mounting sustained pressure on the line but unable to find a way through, and two more tries before half time had the Leigh side in firm control. Both came to fullback Youds, the first as he was set free by Martin Lewis’ smart play and ran clear, dummying the cover to go under the sticks, and then as he sliced over at the corner from some slick Miners’ handling.
The second half was attritional and Wests were by no means going to run up the white flag, with both sides working overtime in defence.
The half was low on points but high on quality and finally Miners had the breakthrough to finish with a flourish, first as Gray went over for his second and then Gittins also completed a brace late on to complete a tremendous afternoon’s work.
The Alliance side went down to their first league defeat of the season at Bold, although the game was overshadowed by a worrying injury to Jason O’Brien which thankfully now appears less serious than first feared.
The U18s lost agonisingly to North Wales 30-28.
This weekend the first team travel to Saddleworth whilst the Alliance entertain Leyland Warriors, 2.30pm. The women travel to West Craven on Sunday.