Leigh Miners made it two wins from two in the league yesterday afternoon when they battled past a tough Rochdale Mayfield outfit in the rain to win 26-14 in a game played in awful conditions at a mud bath Twist Lane. Miners making three changes from the side that comfortably beat Oxford last weekend in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with Brad Hargreaves, Danny Jackson and Jack Probert coming in for Matt Astley,Mike O’Boyle and Bud Skinkis.
It was Mayfield who opened the scoring after only a few seconds when they caught Miners off guard when they opted for the short kick off, winning the ball back to go and race into score through stand off Lewis Sheridan to make it 4-0. Miners hit back on the ten minute mark when loose forward Connor Ratcliffe got on the end of a neat Scott O’Brien grubber kick to score at the side of the posts, Jonny Youds adding the extras to give the score 6-4. Five minutes later the home side scored their second try when left centre Brad Hargreaves powered over out wide on the left, Hargreaves going over again on twenty five minutes with Youds adding the extras to give Miners a twelve point cushion leading 16-4. The Youds conversion being the last points of what was a scrappy opening forty minutes from both sides with plenty of errors in the bad conditions.
At the start of second half the heavens opened with the rain coming down heavy making the playing conditions worse under foot with the pitch chewing up. The rain though didn’t seem to effect the visitors early on as they scored their second try from back rower Liam Whalley, Mayfield where in again soon after when Lewis Sheridan finished off a well worked long range try under the posts, Sam Butterworth adding the extras to make it 16-14 in favour of home side. From conceding that second try in the second half Miners woke themselves up and whilst it wasn’t the fast attacking rugby they like to play, they slowly grinded away in the mud at the Mayfield defence looking to get that all important next score. That coming with just over fifteen minutes remaining when scrum half Scott O’Brien dropped his shoulder to go through the Mayfield defence and send Connor Ratcliffe sliding in under the posts for his second of the afternoon, Youds landing the simple conversion to give Miners a eight point advantage leading 22-14. Youds slotting over two penalty goals in the final ten minutes to make sure of the victory which moves Miners into second in the early season table ahead of the Easter break next weekend.
MINERS TEAM = Jonny Youds, Harry Gagen, Brad Hargreaves, Adam Thomason, Jack Probert, Shaun Dowie, Scott O’Brien, Martin Gray, Danny Jones, Darryl Kay, Tommy Parkinson, Ellis Grimes, Connor Ratcliffe, Subs = Tony Doyle, Danny Jackson, Tom Farrimond, Chris Bowers
MINERS MOM = Brad Hargreaves
MAYFIELD TEAM = Declan Sheridan, Seta Taala, David Wood, Matt Calland, Rob Kershaw, Lewis Sheridan, Sam Butterworth, Sean Mulcahy, Eric Johnson, Callum Marriott, Liam Whalley, Ben Butterworth, Joe Quanei, Subs = Kieran Hamer, Mark Biggins, Gareth Ellison, Aide Gleeson
MAYFIELD MOM = Eric Johnson