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Ince Rose Bridge 10 Leigh Miners Rangers 22

Aug 28 • Senior Club News, Uncategorised • 1247 Views • Comments Off on Ince Rose Bridge 10 Leigh Miners Rangers 22

Miners Rangers ended their four match losing run in the league with this solid performance on a cool late summer evening to deepen derby rivals Rose Bridge’s relegation worries. After the previous week’s heroics in defeat against league leaders Thatto this was more a question of grinding down spirited opponents by applying pressure through fierce defence and ball in hand before taking the chances and cruising to a relatively comfortable victory.
Miners made just one change from the side so unfortunate against Thatto with Darryl Kay returning from international duty and replacing Connor Partington, meaning youngster Mark Nicholson retained his place on the bench after impressing on debut. Bridge were captained by former Miners’ favourite Darryl Appleby, meaning a second brotherly reunion of the season against younger sibling Todd, on the Miners’ bench.
The visitors opened purposefully as they enjoyed prolonged spells of possession inside the Bridge half for much of the opening quarter but a combination of over-enthusiastic execution and some scrambling last ditch defence by Bridge kept the game scoreless. Indeed the game was perhaps most notable for some huge collisions, with Gary Gittins flattening Appleby with a monster of a hit, the Bridge captain groggily helped from the field but thankfully able to resume hostilities following some treatment. The longer the game went without Miners making a breakthrough the more confidence one sensed Bridge gaining and they began to mount brief forays of their own, big props David Hoctor and Ritchie Shaw making headway up the middle, but the Ince side lacked the guile to take full advantage of these opportunities and were finally made to pay as Miners struck twice before the interval.
The first try came when Miners won a scrum on the Bridge ten metre line and two long passes from Scott O’Brien and Jonny Youds swept play across the narrow pitch and put Andrew Groves swooping in at the corner for the try improved by Youds. Five minutes before the break and the Leigh side doubled their advantage, the lively Jimmy Muir taking the line on, fending off a tackle and cutting back inside to saunter over the line and another six pointer.
Playing up the hill in the second half Miners could expect some response from Ince but instead the visitors grabbed a third try, another spell of pressure telling when Kay drove to the line, wrestled off a couple of defenders and then dived over beside the posts, Youds with his third conversion. Miners were in something of a comfort zone as all Ince’s efforts failed to make too much headway until a sniping run by Matt Meaden took play to the line and the offload found Chris Boylan charging in support and over the line for 18-6. However Miners were stirred rather than shaken and they immediately responded to snuff out any thoughts of an unlikely Bridge comeback, Gittins offloading thirty metres out and although O’Brien had to back-track to get the ball the Miners’ captain jinked back inside, cut through the line and put Groves finishing expertly by the corner flag. With time running out Ince did have a consolation as Appleby’s good drive set the position and Boylan found Ryan Eccleston to finish off at the left corner but it was far too little, far too late as Miners celebrated a return to winning ways.

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