Miners Rangers moved up to third with a performance of two halves against a battling Egremont side. After coasting through the first half to lead 22-0 Miners were made to toil after the interval as Egremont threatened the comeback, Miners just about managing to keep their visitors at arm’s length to secure the win. After the previous weekend’s cup battle against Thornhill Miners were missing Connor Ratcliffe and Ellis Grimes, whilst top scorer Brad Hargreaves failed a late fitness test and was replaced by under-18s Jake Lloyd, making his open age debut. Egremont had suffered cup anguish with their derby defeat at Wath Brow the previous weekend and had changes in the halves with Rob Purdham and Paul Corkhill absent, Matthew Henson and Anthony Leak forming a makeshift partnership in their place.
Egremont opened brightly but failed to turn their field position into points as handling errors and a scrambling Miners defence released the pressure, and typically on their first attack the home side took the lead, neat passing by Jimmy Muir and Mick O’Boyle putting Gareth Pain diving in at the corner, Jonny Youds goaling. Miners stepped up the pressure and the tries began to flow, Tommy Parkinson driving over at the corner before a fine pass from Danny Jones put Darryl Kay through a yawning gap under the posts. Mont’s woes continued as Pete Bewsher was sin-binned for dissent but the twelve men held out until just before half time when Miners produced some sparkling rugby as they broke down the right, Youds taking the scoring pass to go between the sticks, his conversion leaving Miners in command.
Egremont though emerged a revitalised force and two tries in as many minutes had them right back in the contest. First the ball was whipped right with quick hands for Jack Short to score at the corner, Ross Brooks with the goal, then from the kick-off Brooks sliced through the defence like a knife through butter, Jimmy Muir with the covering tackle but then sin-binned for holding down and from the penalty Egremont powered over at the left corner through Leon Crelin. Miners prevented further damage and once restored to full strength they restored a portion of their cushion, O’Boyle driving over at the left corner and Youds adding the extras. Egremont weren’t finished yet though as Matt McEwen scored to give them further hope but Miners effectively sealed the game with a lung-bursting charge from deep in his own half by Connor Partington, the giant centre snagged just short but with the presence of mind to pass to the supporting Andrew Groves to finish off. In a seemingly-interminable period of added time Egremont notched two further tries, first when Matt Bewsher forced his way over from acting half and then when the outstanding Blake Mahovic put Ryan Barnes in at the corner, but Miners had secured the points.
Miners – Jonny Youds, Gareth Pain, Mick O’Boyle, Connor Partington, Andrew Groves, Jimmy Muir, Scott O’Brien, Chris Bower, Shaun Dowie, Darryl Kay, Tommy Parkinson, Martin Gray, Mark Nicholson Subs – Danny Jones, Jake Lloyd, Matt Astley, Charles Tyson
Tries – Pain (15), Parkinson (21), Kay (28), Youds (39), O’Boyle (64), Groves (75)
Goals – Youds 5
Sin-bin – Muir (44, holding down)
MoM – Darryl Kay
Egremont – Ross Brooks, Ryan Barnes, Leon Crellin, Blake Mahovic, James Newton, Matt Henson, Anthony Leak, Matt Bewsher, Daniel Telford, Tom Horner, Pete Bewsher, Matt Palmer, Kieron Glenn Subs – Jack Short, Luke Charlton, Matt McEwen, Michael Ellwood
Tries – Short (42), Crellin (45), McEwen (72), M Bewsher (78), Barnes (80)
Goals – Barnes 2
Sin-bin – P Bewsher (31, dissent)
MoM – Daniel Telford
Referee – Paul Marklove