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Leigh Miners Rangers 32 Wigan St Patricks 14

May 23 • Senior Match Reports, Uncategorised • 1509 Views • Comments Off on Leigh Miners Rangers 32 Wigan St Patricks 14

Leigh Miners Rangers won this eagerly-anticipated local derby with a sterling second half display to see off a rugged St Pats team who had clawed their way back from 16-0 down to trail by just two points shortly after the interval and with the momentum seemingly switching their way. However Miners were imperious in the second half as they defended resolutely and with Lee Gittins, Martin Gray, Connor Ratcliffe and Sam Peet to the fore and Scott O’Brien and Ryan Peters firing in the halves they fully merited their success. Pats will reflect on a missed opportunity to snatch the lead after they had hauled themselves back into contention when they knocked on with the line open, whilst the sin-binnings of Liam Gannon and Anthony Griffiths proved costly periods for the visitors, but with young Afeez Oderinde impressing with his pace and power out wide and Kieron Harrison and Jonny Brown robust in the pack they arguably appeared the likelier team after the hour mark until succumbing as Miners pulled clear in the final quarter.

It took almost half an hour for the game’s opening try to arrive as Miners pounded the Pats’ line but without breaching the scrambling defence until Ratcliffe made a fine break for the opener, converted by Jonny Youds. With the breakthrough made Miners kicked on and another fine Ratcliffe solo try extended the advantage, which appeared to be a decisive one when the impressive Gittins scored on half time for a 16-0 lead. Pats could have gone into their shells but inspired by the barnstorming charges of Oderinde and the hard graft of captain Gannon and the other young winger Tyler Spence they took the game to Miners in the period after half time, back in the game when Declan McLoughlin scored a try goaled by Dan Birkett and then – as Miners had done in the first half – turning one score into three in the blink of an eye with further touchdowns for Phil Glover and Spence. Crucially though they spilled the ball five metres from the line in what could have proven a game-changer and instead it was Miners who weathered the storm and then pulled clear again – this time decisively. Within three minutes Youds went in for his first and then two tries in the closing ten minutes sealed the deal for the home side as Ian Mort and Youds himself both touched down for further tries.

The Alliance team enjoyed a tremendous result as they defeated the previously-unbeaten league leaders Bury Broncos on the road 28-18.

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