Leigh Miners entertain Siddal on Saturday afternoon in Round 9 of the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division, Kick off 2-30pm at Twist Lane. The game is the only NCL fixture this bank holiday weekend after both clubs agreed to bring the fixture forward a week ahead of the super league Magic Weekend next week in Newcastle.
Miners go into Saturday’s clash on the back of two successive away defeats, to see them being knocked off top spot down into sixth position. Last weekend’s 27-24 defeat at Lock Lane being hard to stomach after having chances to win and return home with the two points, poor decision making and execution letting Miners down near the end when the game was really there for the taking.
This weeks game against Siddal promises to be another very tough encounter between two of the big guns of the amateur game. With ball in hand Miners will be looking to be smarter and execute their plays better than they did at Lock Lane, whilst in defence they will definitely have to be at their best and make sure they are solid for the full eighty minutes against a big Siddal outfit.
Speaking about last weeks defeat at Lock Lane, club captain Scott O’Brien said “I thought we was really good in spells and then other times lacked composer, we could have been a bit more patient near their line instead of trying to score off every play and in the end that’s what cost us.”
Looking ahead to Siddal, Scott added “It will be very tough game as it always is against Siddal, we will need to be on our game from the start and hopefully we can get back to winning ways to keep the unbeaten home run going.”
Coaches Allan Coleman & Paul Whitworth have all of last week’s seventeen available for selection again this week, with Chris Bowers, Mark Nicholson and Mike O’Boyle all coming into contention for a place in the side.
Looking back at last week’s game at Lock Lane, Coach Paul Whitworth said “We asked for improvements from the middle men and I thought they responded superbly. On the day we made too many individual errors and in turn this dented our completion rates.”
“If we offer opportunities to quality sides like Lock Lane they will more than likely not just accept them but capitalise on them. We put ourselves under more pressure than we had to and ended up using a lot more energy to get back into the game.”
“Afterwards the lads knew the issue, we just need to fix a couple of small areas up and we’re good. We’ll keep playing the brand of rugby we like to play, back each other and enjoy the team spirit being shown.”
With Allan Coleman adding “I thought we was good at Lock Lane, the better team for me personally, our core bashed them but we just couldn’t turn our possession into points.”
On this weeks game against Siddal, Whitworth said “There’s usually not too much between the sides, they seem to have found some form after a bit of a hit and miss start and arrive on the back of three successive wins.”
“Siddal find the floor well and can control the pace if you play the one up game, they are a patient side that will take their chances well .”
“The left edge seems to be their ‘go to’ side and we can’t afford to give them the opportunities we have been presenting to other teams.”
“As always though, if we approach the game with the right attitude, follow our processes and execute to our ability then we’ll get the outcome we deserve.”
With Coleman adding “Siddal will be very tough, the best team in the league so all the other coaches say. But we will have something to say about that.”
“The play very aggresive in the middle and then look to Garrod to play on edges.”
“We are looking forward to the challenge and I hope they are.”
Siddal travel to Leigh in good spirits having won their last three matches against Egremont, West Hull and Wath Brow Hornets to leave them in fifth position on 10 points. The Halifax outfit have really picked up in recent weeks after making a poor start by their standards, and with having a strong squad to choose from with strike all over the pitch, Siddal will be coming to Twist Lane confident of picking up an important two points with the form they are in.
Leigh Miners 2nd team and Ladies both have free weekends due to the bank holiday.
The u18s are at home on Sunday against Wigan St Pats in the league, Kick off 11-45am at Twist Lane.