Leigh Miners Rangers kept tabs on a National Conference Premier title after defeating relegation-haunted Hunslet Warriors 28-10 at Warrior Park.
The visitors were 10-6 down at the break, but scored three unanswered tries in the final 15 minutes to pick up the two points.
The Warriors, who were buoyed after a shock win against Castleford Lock Lane last week, had their tails up within the first couple of minutes, and pinched the ball one-on-one. The Leigh side were then penalised for stripping the ball out, and Gary McClelland made it two nil. Miners hit back ten minutes later with a try that came from nothing. Scott O’Brien turned left and right to find an option, and eventually he found full-back, Jonny Youds who dived over. Youds converted his own try. Loose forward Karl Featherstone took his team downfield with some good positional kicking whilst Warriors’ MOM, hooker Josh Murphy and scrum half Jim Baker worked tirelessly looking for openings. Hunslet locked the game up when Josh Murphy’s bullet pass from dummy half sent Dave Norton flying over. Back-to-back penalties conceded by the visitors gave the Warriors a piggyback deep into Leigh territory. Jim Baker stabbed a clever kick in behind the defence on the short right side, and winger Lee West read the game well as he collected and palmed the ball down.
At 10-6 up going into the final couple of minutes of the first half, Hunslet made Miners work overtime in defence with barnstorming runs from Caldon Bravo and Luke Pennington. Daryl Gaunt kicked downfield and Youds was pinned into his own in-goal area.
The following set resulted in no further points for the hosts. Despite the dry weather conditions, both sides were losing the ball on a few occasions.
A Hunslet knock on gave Miners an attacking set, and Man of the Match Tommy Parkinson surged his way over. Youds’ extras made it 12 – 10.
With 15 to go Miners were awarded a penalty for a high tackle, which gave them the position to post more points. Jimmy Muir fired a pass to Sean MacDonald who broke through the Warriors defensive line to score.
MacDonald made it two tries for the afternoon and made sure of the win for the away side six minutes from time. A break from the Rangers set up the position for MacDonald to use his strength to get the ball down.
And three minutes before the full-time whistle, Shaun Dowie’s break was backed up by Matty Meaden for a converted try under the posts.
The Alliance team enjoyed a high-scoring win over Oldham St Annes whilst the women moved through to the next round of the play-offs with an 18-16 win over Oulton. The under-18s capped an outstanding week by defeating Wigan St Judes on Thursday night with tries for Jacob Marsden, Joe Lorrimer (4 goals), Deacon Monks, Jack Bourden and Dale Mercer. Harry Marsden was man of the match in a 28-10 win.
At the weekend the youngsters won 40-32 against Blackbrook, Adam Ashurst and Elliot Liku (four goals) both with braces, Declan Flannery, Sean Myers, Joe Lorrimer and Deacon Monks also on the scoresheet. Adam Ashurst was named man of the match.
This Saturday the first team host Wath Brow in a huge game at Twist Lane, both teams with aspirations of a top two finish, 2.30pm kick off on Saturday.