Leigh Miners finished their pre-season with a scrappy 30-26 defeat away at Ince Rose Bridge on a windy afternoon at Pinfold Street. It was Miners who opened the brighter in the opening stages of the match having plenty of field position and keeping the host on the back foot and that pressure told when a rare Adam Thomason pass sent Martin Gray over in the right corner to give Miners a 4-0 lead. After taking the lead Miners struggled to get any real field position for the rest of the half turning the ball over to cheaply in their own half to allow Rose Bridge to do most of the pressing, Bridge scored their first try after twenty minutes after a long spell camped on an enthusiastic Miners defensive try line they scored out on the right, the try converted to put them 6-4 in front. The pressure continued after the try with Miners unable to complete their sets it just allowed the home side to keep hammering away at the Miners line but to no avail as the strong defence kept the score at 6-4. Surprisingly it was Miners who scored next with Ince attacking close to the line with only a few minutes of the half remaining, a loose pass was picked up by winger Dan Ogden who raced the length of the field to score under the post, Scott O’Brien converting to give the score 10-6. The home side replied right on half time to take a two point lead into the break with the score at 12-10.
The two point lead was increased to eight soon after the break when the Rose Bridge loose forward strolled through some slack Miners defence to score under the posts to give the score 18-10. Liam Coleman got Miners back into the game with a try on the left, and after forcing the home side into an error in their own twenty just before the hour mark Dan Ogden went over for his second of the game in the corner from the scrum, Scott O’Brien landing the touchline conversion to put Miners back in front at 20-18. From the kick off some strong go forward by the forwards allowed Scott O’Brien to cut through the defence to send full back Sean Pendlebury racing away under the sticks to score, O’Brien converting to give the score 26-18. After looking good for a spell Miners went away from what they was doing well to giving away the ball to cheaply, and failing to complete their sets ended up costing Miners as the home side scored two tries to finish the game 30-26 winners.
It was a good workout as far as fitness goes for Miners but they know there are a lot of things to work on during the next couple of weeks before they start the new NCL season on the 3rd March away at Hull Dockers.
MINERS TEAM = S. Pendlebury, D. Ogden, L Gittins, L. Coleman, M. Gray, M. Lewis, S. O’Brien, C. Connor, T. Farrimond, D. Appleby, A. Thomason, S. Marsh, D. Jones. SUBS = A. Gorton, D. Galvin, D. Trimble, G. Gittins