Leigh Miners make the short trip down the East Lancashire Road on Saturday to take on Pilkington Recs in Round 7 of the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division, Kick off 2-30pm at Ruskin Park.
The game being the first competitive league fixture against the St Helens outfit since the early nineties and for the older generation of both clubs it will be great to see the the Miners/Recs rivalry renewed, with their being some great ding dong battles between the sides in the seventies and eighties.
Last weekend saw Miners dumped out of the first round of the Conference Challenge Trophy against Hunslet Club Parkside, losing 24-22 in what was a below par performance from the Twist Lane outfit. The defeat ending any chances of repeating last years treble which was very disappointing for the club, but nothing can be taken away from Hunslet though as they fully deserved their victory and a place in the last sixteen of the competition.
With just the league to concentrate on now for the rest of the season, Miners will be looking to bounce straight back from last week’s setback with a win against Pilks. The players know they will have to be much better in both attack and defence this week if they are to get their sixth league win of the campaign. In attack the players needing to take better control and be more organised when in good areas of the field, with the defence needing to stiffen up after conceding 24 points last week which is way to many If you want to be winning on a regular basis.
Coach Allan Coleman will have Mitchell Cox, Frankie Halton, Mike O’Boyle and Tommy Parkinson all available for selection after missing last week’s game. Danny Jones is away in London for the weekend, with Brad Hargreaves likely to miss the next two to three months of the season minimum, after damaging all his ligaments in his neck and the top of his back in a dangerous tackle against Hunslet Club Parkside.
Speaking about last week’s Conference Challenge Trophy first round exit, Coach Allan Coleman said “The sooner we forget about last Saturday the better.”
“We was very flat and Hunslet wanted everything more than us.”
“So good luck to them they deserved the win.”
“It was awful to see Brad Hargreaves get injured, but I won’t go in to the type of tackle that caused it.”
“I would like to wish Brad a speedy recovery from myself and the team.”
Looking ahead to this week’s game at Pilkington Recs, Coleman added “This week we go into the unknown away at Pilks.”
“A team who like to play rugby so it should be one for the spectator.”
“On Tuesday the lads worked really hard so hopefully that’s a sign of a quick turnaround on last week’s performance.”
“It’s important we realise that every team wants to beat us, so we know we have to be at our best.”
Pilkington Recs like Miners where founder members of the National League in 1986, playing in the flagship league for a few years before opting to go back to the North West Counties League. In 2012 before rejoining the NCL Pilks won the North West Mens League Premier Division and have since gone on to gain promotion at the first attempt of asking in the last three years to earn their place in the top flight.
Bradford Bulls forward Kurt Haggerty coaches the Ruskin Park side and this season they have won one of their five league games so far, with that being a 22-0 home win against Egremont Rangers to leave them in 10th position in the table. In the Challenge Cup at the start of the year, Recs beat League One side London Skolars 13-0 in the third round before bowing out of the competition in the next round at Langtree Park against a good Halifax side.
Leigh Miners second team return to action on Saturday when they take on local rivals Leigh East in the first “Street of Origin” league game of the year, Kick off 2-30pm at Twist Lane. The two teams met back in February in the Lloyd Pugsley Memorial Trophy, with Miners winning that encounter 32-18.
The u18s are at home on Sunday against Waterhead in the league, Kick off 11-45am at Twist Lane.
Leigh Mines Ladies are at home on Sunday against Brighouse Rangers in the first round Challenge Cup, Kick off 2pm at Twist Lane.