Leigh Miners Rangers 36 Egremont Rangers 24
Miners Rangers boosted their top six hopes at the expense of a youthful and enthusiastic Egremont who pushed them all the way in this tense encounter.
Miners led 20-6 at the break thanks to two tries in as many minutes before the interval but Egremont were hard-done-to by that scoreline and promptly redressed the balance with three tries in seven minutes of their own to turn the game on its head. Miners though cleared their heads and showed their guile to close out proceedings and maintain their perfect home record.
Arriving with three under-16s in their ranks, Egremont had plenty of youthful brio but were punctured early on as Martin Gray sliced over at the corner, Jonny Youds converting.
Miners extended the lead when Youds finished off after a Miners’ penalty took them to the Egremont line, but the visitors were on the scoresheet when Brad Hailes’ offload ricocheted its way for Daniel Telford to dive on to the loose ball, Matt Bewsher goaling. Miners though appeared to have taken the game by the scruff with two tries in as many minutes firstly when Shaun Dowie forced his way over then some expansive play immediately following the restart reaped rewards as Youds finished off for his second.
Egremont could justly feel aggrieved by the interval scoreline but set about readdressing the balance with three tries in seven minutes, orchestrated by Paul Corkhill as first Matt Henson backed up a break to score, then Jordan Young swooped to collect Corkhill’s wide pass, finally Jack Stainton followed up another raking Corkhill break to finish under the posts and 24-20.
Miners appeared under the pump but they steadied the ship as Egremont made a hash of a last tackle kick, Danny Jackson pouncing and Jake Waterworth scrambling in at the corner, Youds conversion nudging the hosts back ahead.
Miners seized control when Dowie crossed from a scrum and the win was settled late on when Ellis Grimes finished off.
This weekend the first team travel to Bradford Dudley Hill (Saturday, 2.30pm) as they begin the defence of their Conference Cup.