Miners finished sixth and will travel to Siddal in the first round of the play-offs after this loss to league leaders West Hull.
West Hull showed no intention of resting on their laurels as they erased one of the few blots on their copybook this season in emphatic style. Miners Rangers were the only team to beat the Lions on their home turf this season but their hopes of a top four finish were blown away in the final twenty minutes as they dropped to sixth following this defeat.
For an hour this was an evenly-balanced game which Miners just edged, but the final twenty belonged to Wests as Callum Windley, Ian Kerman and Carl Puckering ran the show. Prior to then the battling of Darryl Kay, Scott O’Brien and Danny Jackson had appeared set to give Miners a notable scalp but they imploded in the final stages as the game ran away from them.
Miners made a nightmare start, spilling the restart and then the kick on the last for Louis Crowther to saunter in for the opener inside sixty seconds, Puckering goaling. Miners responded well and the first half was rugby of the highest quality from both sides, the hosts levelling with a fine finish from twenty metres out by Scott Travis, Jonny Youds with the conversion, and then the fullback had a try of his own as he powered over from close range to give the hosts the interval lead.
Had Miners managed to extend that advantage early in the second half then the final outcome could well have been different but after enjoying early pressure they cracked when another spilled kick gave Wests territory and big centre Dan Parker swatted off the tackles to score the leveller. Parker’s second, off a cut-out pass by Kerman, gave Wests the lead again after Miners had squandered a good attacking chance of their own, and after Puckering’s penalty the home side kicked the restart out on the full for Wests to launch another attack, George Lawler cutting through to touch down. In the closing stages Sam Cator dived in for another try for the visitors as they continued their phenomenal calendar year with a fine victory.