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wigan st patricks 14 leigh miners rangers 12

Mar 30 • Senior Club News, Uncategorised • 1645 Views • Comments Off on wigan st patricks 14 leigh miners rangers 12

A highly-controversial penalty with the last kick of the game condemned Miners to defeat in this Maundy Thursday derby match. The decision to penalise Miners for unsportsmanlike conduct, with referee Michael Woodhead deeming that a Miners’ player had called ‘last tackle’ and thereby caused a St Pats’ knock-on on half-way, handed Pats’ Brad Smith with the opportunity to land the winning points and he duly obliged, banging the kick over from forty metres out and with the referee then blowing for full time it was the final act of an absorbing game.

Miners will feel utterly aggrieved to have lost the game in such circumstances, having battled back from 12-4 down and appearing the stronger side in the second half with tries twice denied for being held up over the line. Siddal and Pats might point out that they have been on the receiving end of Miners’ late escapes in recent times but given the nature of this loss this was an incredibly hard one to take.

On a cold evening, mercifully free of the recent snows, Miners welcomed Ross Bradley and Andrew Groves back into the side whilst Kevin Howells and Liam Coleman were absent. Steven Marsh came in for his first NCL game of the season at stand-off with Todd Appleby on the bench. Pats opened the brighter in a first half which they largely dominated, the clever kicks of Anthony Griffiths and ex-Miner Ryan Smith pinning Miners back in their own half and putting pressure on the wingers. The opening try wasn’t long in coming as a strong run by impressive fullback Jayden Sandford took play to the left and quick hands put winger Andy Higham in at the corner, Brad Smith with the conversion. Pats threatened further scores, John McCoy nipping in round Sean Pendlebury on the wing to gather Ryan Smith’s bobbling kick but belatedly he was ruled to have stepped into touch before scoring. However as the half went on Miners began to claw their way back, Martin Lewis ruled to have been held over the line and Scott O’Brien almost finding a way through as he chipped the defensive line only to find Sandford in place to mop up the danger. But not long before the interval and Miners were right back in the game as play was switched to the left and Lewis this time was unstoppable as he barged his way over for 6-4 at the break.

Miners emerged with their tails up at the start of the second half but despite pounding on the Pats’ line for the opening ten minutes they were to find themselves further behind with a classy try, inevitably from their old favourite Ryan Smith. The international halfback registered his first try against his old club with a trademark break from long range, slicing inside the fullback and scoring under the posts for Griffiths to add the extras. Miners were unbowed though and continued to press hard, again hauling themselves back into contention when good passing from the impressive Marsh put Pendlebury in at the corner, Jonny Youds’ conversion falling just short. The Leigh side were camped in the Pats’ half by this point and three minutes from time they had the leveller, Adam Thomason initially ruled to be held up over the line but from the restart a good move down the left saw O’Brien and Thomason link up to put Bradley over for 12-12.

With the conversion attempt unsuccessful that appeared to be the end of matters and a draw would surely have been a fitting conclusion to an excellent match, but with the very last play of the game referee Woodhead awarded the penalty which would prove the decisive intervention and heated topic of conversation to end the match.

St Pats – Jayden Sandford, John McCoy, Steve Simm, Danny Birkett, Andy Higham, Ryan Smith, Anthony Griffiths, Antony Gallear, Brad Smith, Jon Chamberlain, Tom Atherton, Liam Gannon, Simon Atherton Subs – Anthony Atherton, Phil Glover, Jon Padgett, Lyndon Robertson

Tries – Higham, R Smith

Goals – B Smith 2, Griffiths

MoM – Jayden Sandford

Miners – Jonny Youds, Andrew Groves, Martin Lewis, Shaun McDonald, Sean Pendlebury, Steven Marsh, Scott O’Brien, Danny Jackson, Tom Farrimond, Darryl Kay, Adam Thomason, Ross Bradley, Lee Gittins Subs – Danny Jones, Jimmy Muir, Todd Appleby, Jonny Carroll

Tries – Lewis, Pendlebury, Bradley

MoM – Lee Gittins

Referee – Michael Woodhead

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