Leigh Miners entertain West Hull on Saturday in Round 19 of the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division, Kick off 2-30pm at Twist Lane.
Miners continued their good run of form last weekend with a 32-22 “Battle of the Borough” derby win against local rivals Wigan St Pats. The game being a tough contest throughout and despite having a nightmare spell early in the second half, Miners deserved their win over the eighty minutes to keep them two points clear of second place Rochdale Mayfield and four points clear of third place Siddal at the top of the table.
This week’s game against West Hull is the penultimate home game of the the regular season for Miners and they are determined to keep this years 100% home record intact with another victory. The players are reading nothing into their 40-10 win against Wests three weeks ago, as they know if they don’t turn up with the right attitude they will come unstuck and that is the last thing they want, with everyone working hard to secure top spot.
Coaches Allan Coleman and Paul Whitworth make three changes from the side that won at Wigan St Pats last week, with Mark Nicholson, Connor Partington and Charles Tyson coming in for Danny Jones who is away for the weekend, Danny Jackson (leg injury) and Connor Ratcliffe who is out injured with ankle ligament damage.
Speaking about last week’s win against St Pats, joint coach Paul Whitworth said “It’s always good to be involved in a local derby and a satisfying feeling coming out the right side of the result again.”
“Overall we performed pretty well, but we turned off defensively in the middle at times and teams in this division will expose that.”
“We didn’t always end our sets on our terms and this in turn put some pressure on us but we responded well in the right way, that’s the resilience in the group we talked about last week.”
“These are the learnings we take from that game and it has been our big focus in training this week.”
With Allan Coleman saying “I thought we started very well against St Pats, with the possession we had we should have been 20 points clear but we didn’t take our chances”
“We spoke at half time about Pats coming right back at us early in the second half and they certainly did that”
“We just a terrible twenty minutes were we was poor in the middle core and lost ruck after ruck.”
“But we showed great character to come back and play till the end, We have started to believe in each other and thats worth ten points alone, so I am very pleased with the win.”
Looking ahead to this week’s game against West Hull, Whitworth added “West Hull travel here on the back of another good win against top six opposition, that’s three wins from their last four.”
“They brought back some quality players last week as they look to fight for Conference Premier Division survival. So we need to focus hard on what our job is and be ready for whatever they come with.”
“There is probably a new challenge in front of us and that’s to play under a new type of pressure.”
“If we want to be at the top we need to perform at the top of our game under this pressure and the players are aware of that, it’s almost finals rugby every week.”
With Coleman adding “West Hull will be very tough, they beat Wath Brow at home last weekend and they have to win to try and stay in the division.”
With Brett Turner back and Callum Windley they have two internationals back on the park who can win a game from nothing”
“We have to focus on ourselves and keep our undefeated record at home alive.”
“We have won nothing yet and we know that its about form and keeping it good.”
“So we will approach the game the same as we do every week, with the right attitude.”
“Its got the makings of a great game”
West Hull travel over the Pennines to Leigh on the back of a hard fought 24-22 home win against Wath Brow Hornets last weekend. The win keeping them in tenth position on 13 points, four points from safety with them and Thatto breathing down the necks of East Leeds, Egremont and Lock Lane in the battle for survival.
Mark Hewitt’s men where the last side to win at Twist Lane last October and they will be looking for a repeat performance this weekend, as the champions for the last two years need all the points they can get in their last five if they want to have any chances of avoiding the drop.
Leigh Miners second team are away on Saturday against Woolston Rovers in the league.
The u18s season is now over after last Sunday’s Lancashire Cup semi final replay defeat against Rochdale Mayfield.
Leigh Miners Ladies are away on Sunday against Oulton Raidettes in their final league game of the season.