Miners Rangers booked their passage into the second round with this ultimately comfortable win over Division Two Underbank but for long spells of this game the Holmfirth side were well in contention as they battled hard to 12-6 at the interval. In gloomy and damp conditions Miners opened in blistering fashion, 12-0 inside ten minutes but pegged back as Underbank battled resolutely. But a strong second half, with big centre Brad Hargreaves a handful out wide, saw Miners ease to victory.
Miners stormed out of the blocks, Hargreaves influential as he stormed through and put the supporting Shaun Dowie over, Jonny Youds converting. Within six minutes Miners were again as Hargreaves broke away and the ball was whipped right for Adam Thomason to score another six pointer. But Underbank grew into the game, Joel Croker influential and substitute Richard Pogson bringing plenty of energy, Croker’s kick in testing conditions spilled by the Miners’ defence and Will Midgley picking up the pieces to score, Croker goaling. Underbank were full of energy and the second half seemed set to be a tester but Miners crucially made the first score of the second stanza as Hargreaves stretched over at the corner, and then storming through down the left, bouncing off the fullback to score his second. Miners turned the screw in the closing stages, Dowie and Hargreaves putting Jimmy Muir over at the flag and then Scott O’Brien ducking under the tackle and darting towards the line finding Harry Gagen in support to scramble in. In the final minute Dowie picked up as Underbank fumbled a chip over the top by Youds to score the last try.
Miners – Jonny Youds, Harry Gagen, Adam Thomason, Brad Hargreaves, Jack Probert, Shaun Dowie, Scott O’Brien, Martin Gray, Danny Jones, Darryl Kay, Danny Jackson, Tommy Parkinson, Connor Ratcliffe Subs – Jimmy Muir, Mick O’Boyle, Mark Nicholson, Ellis Grimes
Tries – Dowie (2, 79), Thomason (8), Hargreaves (47, 55), Muir (68), Gagen (73)
Goals – Youds 6
MoM – Shaun Dowie
Underbank – Will Midgley, Remone Notman, Alex Chatterton, Courtney Allette, Jon Tinker, Joel Croker, Chris Druett, Dave Valentine, Stephen Berry, Dan Farrand, Mitch Turner, Kurt Selmes, Luke Karolczuk Subs – Richard Pogson, Liam Donlon, Will England, Luke Nelmes
Try – Midgley (39)
Goal – Croker
MoM – Stephen Berry
Referee – Tony Martin