Leigh Miners return to league action on Saturday when they take on Thatto Heath Crusaders in Round 13 of the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division, Kick off 2-30pm at Twist Lane.
Miners go into Saturdays on the back of an embarrassing 30-12 first round Conference Challenge Trophy defeat against Ince Rose Bridge last weekend, Rose Bridge wanting it more across the board as a team and fully deserving there place in the next round, with Miners again being guilty of the same old errors and penalties that have caused them trouble all year.
With only ten games of the season remaining and the threat of relegation now a real danger, Miners know they are going to have to start winning and quick if they want to keep their proud record of always playing in the top division of the National Conference League.
The lads know if they are to get a much needed two points this weekend against a good Thatto Heath side, they must respect the ball more, cut out the silly penalties and show a lot more commitment and desire as a team in defence.
Coach Dave Rowlands makes five changes from the side that lost to Rose Bridge last weekend, with Will Ashworth, Chris Bower, Jake Ellis, Frankie Halton and Danny Jones coming into the side for Mitchell Cox (work), Robert Crompton (broken thumb), Tom Farrimond (broken wrist), Aaron Gorton (work) and Gareth Paine.
On last weekends disappointing first round Conference Challenge Trophy exit against Ince Rose Bridge, coach Dave Rowlands said “If effort and desire is anything to go buy, then you can see why Ince won the game.”
“They turned up with 17 men willing to put there bodies on the line, this was there cup final and you could tell from minute one as they fully deserved the victory.”
“It was another well below par team performance and I know the boys are hurting at the minute.”
“But if Saturday result can teach us anything it’s that effort and desire to play for you mates can get you along way in this game.”
Looking ahead to this weeks game against Thatto Heath Crusaders, Rowlands added “Thatto are flying high this season after getting promoted last year.”
“So there is no better time for us to show up for one another, we have ten games left in the season, ten cup finals that we have to target to stay in the league.”
“We picked up injuries again last weekend but this gives other lads a chance to cement a first team spot.”
“If I can get the effort and commitment off the 17 available on Saturday, we won’t be far off.”.
Thatto Heath go into this weeks game having bounced back from a surprise heavy home defeat against Rochdale Mayfield in the league a fortnight ago, with a 36-10 first round Conference Challenge Trophy victory against Oulton Raiders last weekend.
After gaining promotion last year Richard Owen’s men are currently in second position on the ladder with 18 points and they will no doubt be confident of getting there tenth victory of the season this weekend to keep in touch with Siddal at the top of the table.
Leigh Miners second team play before the first team on Saturday when they take on Wigan St Pats in the league, kick off 12-45pm at Twist Lane.
The u18s are also at home on Sunday when they take on Blackbrook in the league, kick off 11-45am at Twist Lane.
Leigh Miners Ladies make the short across the borough on Sunday to take on local rivals Wigan St Pats in the NWC Cup, kick off 2-30pm at Clarington Park.