Leigh Miners make their final regular season visit across the Pennines on Saturday when they take on Hunslet Warriors in Round 22 of the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division, Kick off 2-30pm at The Oval.
Miners travel to Yorkshire on the back of a 22-18 home victory against Skirlaugh to keep their playoff hopes alive, the performance though being far from convincing with Miners looking very sluggish after a two week break, but having enough within the side to finish strong and take the points off Skirlaugh in the final twenty minutes after the visitors had been the better side for most of the match. Captain Scott O’Brien said of last weeks game “I thought we was poor in attack and our defence was good at times but there was too many falling off tackles.”
The lads know they are going to have to be much smarter with ball in hand over the coming weeks and hopefully they will again become more fluent in there attack with getting back to playing week in week out. Defensively Miners will need to be much more aggressive and tougher than they was last week against a Hunslet side who will be chomping at the bit to get out there after such a good win last week. Although the lads worked hard has they always do in defence, there contact at times was to soft and they can’t afford any more of that during the final weeks of the season. On Saturdays game O’Brien added “This week will be really tough, it always is against a team fighting for survival like last week, but i think we are strong enough to go up there and get the two points.”
Coaches Allan Coleman and Paul Whitworth will again have to make changes from last weeks side with Liam Coleman dropping out of the side along with forwards Matt Astley and Martin Gray who are both away on holiday. Coming back into the side are Sean MacDonald, Mathew Meaden and Jimmy Muir. Ahead of Saturdays game coach Paul Whitworth said “Its a tight top six and with just five games remaining we aim to finish in a better play-off position than we did two years ago”, Whitworth also adding” Away games have been tough this year and we’ve a few absences to manage this week on top of that. The home game back in April against Hunslet was tightly contested for a long period with our defensive attitude on top form to keep out the likes of Bravo and Gaunt. I hope to build on last weeks win and after shaking off the two week break, our kicking game was much better but we will be looking for improvements throughout, especially on decision making at the right time in the right areas against a team fighting survival.”
Hunslet Warriors will be full of confidence going into Saturdays clash after beating second place Lock Lane 16-12 last weekend, it is another must win game for the Hunslet outfit who are three points adrift of tenth placed relegation rivals Hull Dockers and with only four games remaining the Warriors could really do with stringing a few wins together if they want to remain in the top flight next year.
Leigh Miners 2nd team are at home on Saturday against Oldham St Annes in the league, Kick off 2-30pm at Twist Lane.
The u18s played last night (Thursday) at home against Wigan St Judes, winning 28-10 at Twist Lane. On Sunday they are at home against Blackbrook in the league.
Leigh Miners Ladies are at home on Sunday against Oulton Raidettes in the Division One end of season playoffs, Kick off 2pm at Twist Lane.