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Oulton Raiders (Away)

Apr 10 • Senior Club News, Uncategorised • 1646 Views • Comments Off on Oulton Raiders (Away)

Leigh Miners play their first away game of the league season on Saturday when they travel over the Pennines to Yorkshire to take on Oulton Raiders in Round 4 of the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division, Kick off 2-30pm at Oulton Sports Pavilion.

Miners go into Saturday’s game in good form having won their last five matches in league and cup, producing strong attacking performances in the cup on dry tracks to make it thorough to the fifth round of the Challenge Cup and toughing it out in the opening two league matches in the bad conditions to beat Wigan St Pats and Rochdale Mayfield. The squad are looking to keep this good run of form going after having a week off due to Easter and with the weather being very good this week they will be confident of producing another good attacking display on a dry pitch, backed up with a hard working defensive effort to bring home the two points against a big Oulton outfit.

Coaches Allan Coleman & Paul Whitworth are forced into making five changes from the victory against Rochdale Mayfield two weeks ago with Chris Bowers (holiday) Scott O’Brien, Connor Ratcliffe (injured) Adam Thomason (stag doo) and Harry Gagen all missing. Coming into the side are Matt Astley, Jimmy Muir, Mark Nicholson, Mike O’Boyle and Bud Skinkis. With changes being made to the side this week it gives the lads coming into the seventeen a great opportunity to stake their claim for next Sunday’s Challenge Cup tie against York City Knights.

On the 26-14 win two weeks ago against Rochdale Mayfield Allan Coleman said “I thought our attitude was good considering we had played professional opposition the week before, we expected a physical game and we certainly got that”

“Our completion was not to our standard but considering the weather it was ok, Its the first time the club has won the week after a pro game so its another target we have achieved together.”

With Paul Whitworth adding “Considering the conditions, changes to the team and the timing of the game being after the Challenge Cup win we have to be pleased to get the points.”

“Mayfield are a big, physical side that had just come off a big win at Thatto who maybe thought we would be a little jaded after the previous weeks game. The lads who came in freshened us up and gave us enough to find a way to win.”

With having no game last weekend due to Easter Whitworth added “Having a week off can have it’s plus’s and minus’s. If your struggling it gives you some time to get back on track but if your going well it can take a bit of the momentum away. Also if you have no game to prepare for its hard to get any intensity or focus in the training sessions. We used the time to do a bit of team bonding after some light training last Thursday.

With Coleman adding “The week off was great I thought, we all went out on Thursday after training watching the Hull derby and it was great to see the boys bonding having a well earned beer.”

Looking ahead to this weeks game at Oulton Paul said “Oulton are a team that has rebuilt itself over the last couple of season’s to get themselves back in the Premier Division. Although they have lost two of the three fixtures played this season they have not been by much and have averaged scoring 32 points in the games they have played showing they can unlock some decent defences.”

“Dominic Flanagan seems to be their go to threat in the centre with five tries but on the opposite wing Bullough has also crossed for four so our edge defence will need to be at it’s best.”

“We will be making five changes, a few planned but a few to make sure a couple of injuries are given enough time to heal fully. We have enough quality across the squad and with shirts up for grabs I expect the right attitude and performance.”

With Allan finishing with “We expect a very tough game at Oulton, it will certainly test our squad with us missing five regulars, but we have a great squad and players get chances to impress.”

“Jamie Benn have Oulton playing well and they have already beaten Wath Brow so we go there knowing we have to be at our best.”

Oulton Raiders won the Division One title last season, losing only one league game all year to comfortably return to the top flight with Rochdale Mayfield. This year Oulton started with two big wins in the Challenge Cup before losing to local rivals Normanton Knights in the third round.

In the league the Raiders have won one of their three opening matches this season, losing away games at Thatto Heath (32-24) and Hull Dockers (38-32) with a excellent 32-28 home victory in between them defeats against last years beaten grand finalists Wath Brow Hornets.

Leigh Miners 2nd team are at home on Saturday against Bury Broncos in the league, Kick off 2-30pm at Twist Lane.

The u18s have a free weekend after receiving a bye in the first round of the Lancashire Cup.

Leigh Miners Ladies have a bye this weekend with there being 13 teams in the newly formed Women’s Premier Division.

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