Report thanks to Mark Chestney
Current National Conference Premier Division league champions Leigh Miners Rangers made it through to the final of this years competition after a thrilling win 22-20 at West Hull. They will now face Siddal in the Grand Final at the Select Security Stadium, Widnes next Sunday kick off 3 p.m.
Siddal have already pocketed the League Leaders Shield for finishing top of the table but Miners will be looking to take the big prize. It was last season a last second Ellis Grimes try took victory from the jaws of defeat.
The win at West Hull to take them through was tinged with sadness as it signalled the last game in charge of Miners for coach Allan Coleman. The man who has been at the helm of taking Miners to their dizzy heights has taken up a coaching role at Tyldesley Rugby Union.
Coleman will miss the final due to a prior commitment but he is certain to be there in spirit and willing a Miners win. It goes without saying the man’s influence will be sorely missed but like all things there is a time to move on and for Coleman, Miners, are at that time.
West Hull started the better as Miners Darryl Kay was gang tackled from the kick off and possession was lost. From the resultant scrum Wests Bobby Tyson-Wilson crashed over for the game’s opening try only to be denied by referee Liam Staveley for a forward pass in the build up.
The home side did take a 2-0 lead through the boot of Luke Foster when Miners were guilty of back to back offences. It then took Miners until the 25th minute before they showed their capabilities to hit back with a try.
Lee Gittens, restored to the three-quarter line, after missing out against Rochdale Mayfield the week previous made a great break. He found eventual man of the match Johnny Youds who pass allowed the pace of winger Will Ashworth to do the rest. Youds converted for 6-2.
Four minutes later Miners were in again with Youds again involved this time in giving teenage centre Robert Crompton some space. He found his winger Todd Fenlon and he went over in the corner but Youds conversion attempt fell short.
It remained 10-2 at half-time before West Hull rallied early in the second half and it didn’t help the second half kick off went straight into touch. The home side made the most of it to see second rower Jordan Rowan crash over by the posts leaving Foster an easy conversion.
The 48th minute signalled a try to savour when, as West Hull attacked again, a chip over was put in by Ian Kerman. It was taken by Fenlon and with a quick sidestep he was away in an open field and a length of the field effort for Youds conversion to make it 16-8.
It took until the 64th minute for West Hull to respond as Callum Windley headed to the line before a short ball for substitute Ryan Esders to crash over. Foster was again on target to ensure this game remained on a knife edge.
With eleven minutes to go Miners hit their straps yet again as Crompton went close but to be denied by great West Hull defence. The ball was shipped left through five pairs for Ashworth to go in at the corner and Youds to land a magnificent touchline conversion.
West Hull threw everything at the visitors and even chose to run a late penalty in the hope of getting the two scores required. It paid off with one try as Tyson-Wilson powered through to score but a doubt as to whether he lost control in getting the ball down.
The try claim stood as Foster converted to make it 22-20 with five minutes to go so it was a truly defensive mentality needed by the Miners. They took the game to West Hull and were able to hang on for a great win and a trip to Widnes next Sunday.
The trophy cabinet is open and ready but will it be filled with the biggest prize of all next weekend?
WEST HULL: Matt Plummer, Luke Foster, Jack Lazenby, Ryan Langton, James Goldsboro-Miller, Ian Kerman, Callum Windley, Bobby Tyson-Wilson, Elliott Windley, Scott Howlett, Sam Cator, Jordan Rowan, Louis Crowther Subs: Jamie Edwards, Calvin Parker, Dale Ellerby, Ryan Esders
Tries: Rowan (42), Esders (64), Tyson-Wilson (75) Goals: Foster 4
LEIGH MINERS RANGERS: Johnny Youds, Will Ashworth, Lee Gittens, Robert Crompton, Todd Fenlon, Andrew Groves, Scott O’Brien, Martin Gray, Tom Farrimond, Darryl Kay, Mark Nicholson, Mitchell Cox, Mick O’Boyle Subs: Sam Peet, Jordan Hellam, Matt Astley, Joe Digby
Tries: Ashworth (25, 69), Fenlon (29, 48) Goals: Youds 3
REFEREE: Liam Staveley / MAN OF THE MATCH: Johnny Youds (Leigh Miners Rangers) / HALF-TIME: 2-10
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