Leigh Miners entertain playoff rivals Wath Brow Hornets on Saturday in Round 23 of the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division, Kick off 2-30pm at Twist Lane.
Miners go into Saturdays big clash on the back of an 28-10 away win against relegation threatened Hunslet Warriors, toughing it out in the first half trailing 10-6 to go out in the second half and produce a strong performance in both attack and defence to run out worthy winners. On last weeks game captain Scott O’Brien said “we improved from the Skirlaugh game, I thought in the second half we was a lot more smarter with the ball and more clinical, our defence was also good but I still think there is room for improvement in both attack and defence but we will take any win away, especially at this stage of the season”.
With the top of the table being so tight this year with only four points separating first and sixth position, Miners know only victory will do if they want to keep climbing up the table. The lads know they are going to have to play very well to beat a good Wath Brow team, it is a challenge they are looking forward to as they take one game at a time, determined to keep picking up the wins and finish has high as they possibly can. Talking of Saturdays game O’Brien said “I think this week will be really tough they are a similar side to us and it’s always a tough game, hopefully we will get the win and that can help push us on towards top spot”.
Coaches Allan Coleman and Paul Whitworth will have to make two changes from the seventeen that won at Hunslet Warriors, with Australian Shaun Dowie being away in Germany for the weekend and Ellis Grimes who misses the game through injury. Coming into the side are Adam Thomason who returns to the side after a four month injury layoff, with Darryl Appleby and young Matty Wilkinson both coming into contention for a place in the side.
On last weeks win at Hunslet Warriors coach Allan Coleman said ” I thought we had to tough it out again like we did against Skirlaugh, in the first half we had to learn a few lessons but when we changed our defence and structure in the second half we played very well at times”. Looking ahead to Saturdays visit of Wath Brow Coleman added “this is our toughest game of season, I honestly think who wins this will be first or second come the end of season, we need to focus on one game at a time and it starts with Saturday, But we will be ready for it”.
Wath Brow Hornets travel down the M6 on the back of two successive victories against Wigan St Judes and Lock Lane to move them into third position on the ladder, victory on Saturday for the Brow would keep them on track for a top two finish for the third successive year after winning the minor premiership at Twist Lane in 2012 to go on and win the Grand Final against Myton Warriors and last year narrowly missing out on top spot to Thatto Heath Crusaders on points difference, again making the grand final only to lose their crown to West Hull. When the two teams met back in April the scoreline was surprisingly 0-0 at the break with Miners leading 12-6 with just short of an hour played before Wath Brow produced a scintillating final twenty minutes to run out comfortable 44-12 winners.
Leigh Miners 2nd team are away on Saturday against Latchford Albion in their last league game of the season.
The u18s play their last league game of the season on Sunday away at Pilkington Recs.
Leigh Miners Ladies have a free weekend.