Leigh Miners took a big step towards clinching the minor premiership on Saturday afternoon when they ground out their eighth win on the bounce to beat East Leeds 20-18 on a warm day at Easy Road, The win keeping Miners four points clear of Siddal and Rochdale Mayfield with two games to play. Miners made three changes from the team that beat West Hull the week before, with Martin Gray, Danny Jackson and Danny Jones coming in for Harry Gagen, Mark Nicholson and Mike O’Boyle
The first half was a stop start affair with injuries and errors, but it was the visitors who enjoyed the better of the possession and field position, their only problem was trying to overplay and be to expansive instead of playing nice and direct, which would have suited them better on a tight East Leeds pitch. It was the home side who opened the scoring after 12 minutes against the run of play, stand off Nathan Conroy intercepting a loose Miners pass to race in from inside his own half to score, Conroy converting his own try to make it 6-0. It took Miners a while but they drew level just short of the half hour when Jimmy Muir cut through the home defence to score, Jonny Youds converting to give the score 6-6. Martin Gray put Miners in front when he was put through a gap to score at the side of the posts from an exquisite Danny Jones pass, Youds adding the extras and then landing a penalty goal right on half time to make the score 14-6 and give the men from Twist Lane an eight point advantage going into the break.
At the start of the second half Miners continued to control the game with some strong defence and good go forward, Increasing the lead when MOM Tom Farrimond darted out of dummy half and stepped through the East Leeds defence to score at the side of the posts, Youds adding the extras to give the score 20-6. The momentum of the game swung on the hour when Miners knocked on from the kick off, Easts having a spell of possession, scoring two tries in the space of a few minutes from Lee Fisher and Tom Sheldrake, Nathan Conroy converting both tries to make it game on with the score at 20-18. East Leeds pushed hard in the closing stages to try and snatch the winner, but where unable to register anymore points as Miners dug deep in the closing stages to take the two points home knowing that a victory over Hull Dockers this coming Saturday will secure them the league leaders shield.
MINERS TEAM = Andrew Groves, Brad Hargreaves, Jonny Youds, Connor Partington, Gareth Pain, Jimmy Muir, Scott O’Brien, Chris Bowers, Shaun Dowie, Darryl Kay, Tommy Parkinson, Danny Jackson, Tom Farrimond, Subs = Danny Jones, Charles Tyson, Martin Gray, Matt Astley
MINERS MOM = Tom Farrimond
EAST LEEDS TEAM = Kane Riley, Ashley Stephenson, Declan Tomlinson, Dean Langton, James Priestley, Nathan Conroy, Tom Sheldrake, Luke Pettman, David Nurse, Lee Priestley, Dave Pattinson, Ryan Holmes, Jake Normington, Subs = Jay Leary, Luke Tomlinson, James Forsell, Lee Fisher
EAST LEEDS MOM = Kane Riley