Miners made it two wins from their last two visits to West Hull with a superb all-round display in the Humberside oven at the weekend. Indeed if you factor in the win over an itinerant East Hull last September then this was a hat-trick of victories at North Road, traditionally one of Miners’ least favourite hunting grounds. Under a baking sun and on a pitch which appeared to be composed of straw in places, Miners excelled in attack and defence, recovering from a nightmare opening to dominate the first half then grimly holding out as Wests tried to force a way back in to the game in the second half. The visitors were without Danny Jackson and Kevin Howells but Lee Gittins returned for his first game since the Challenge Cup tie at Barrow.
Miners made the worst possible start to the game, Scott O’Brien with the forty-twenty attempt and winger Josh Hart appearing to fumble the ball forward as he kept it in play but as Miners anticipated the whistle play was allowed to continue and Matt Plummer launched a swift counter attack down the right, kicking in-field for Luke Foster to follow up and score under the posts inside the second minute, Hart goaling. The visitors were undaunted though and they seized control of the game, fluent handling stretching the Lions’ defence left and right and the tireless work of Darryl Kay and Martin Gray in the pack sapping the energy from their opponents. The visitors were on the scoresheet after pressing the line down the right then moving play swiftly left, Steven Marsh held short but Jimmy Muir diving over from acting half. This sparked a purple patch for Miners who enjoyed a period of total supremacy as they smoothly clicked through the gears. The visitors seized a lead they wouldn’t relinquish when O’Brien and Jonny Youds worked a neat wrap-around move to create an overlap down the right and Adam Thomason took advantage as he continued his scoring run with a try at the corner. The lead was extended as Miners again attacked down the right and this time it was Youds at acting half who forced his way past the markers to touch down, adding the extras himself for a 14-6 lead.
Wests came out for the second half determined to force a way back into the match and they set up camp in the Miners’ half for the first ten minutes, winning a succession of repeat sets through Miners’ goal-line drop-outs and handling errors. The pressure inevitably told as Dean Thompson broke from the base of a scrum twenty metres out and charged under the posts, Hart’s conversion narrowing the gap to two points. Crucially though Miners found an immediate response, their restart running dead for a Wests’ drop-out and from the attacking position the ball was switched left and Lee Gittins broke through, swatting away the defender to score at the corner, Youds goaling to put his side two scores clear. Now it was time to grind the win out and in the furnace-like conditions Miners did just that, even surviving a period with a man disadvantage after Gittins was sin-binned for delaying a West Hull restart. The visiting defence stood firm throughout as Wests grew increasingly frustrated, sealing another memorable performance on Humberside.
Wests – Matt Plummer, Josh Hart, Luke Foster, Danny Swales, Alex Rudd, Dean Thompson, Brett Turner, Aiden Morton, Steve Stamp, Alex Benson, Scott Howlett, Tom Radley, Paul Shaw Subs – Louis Crowther, Callum Lane, Dan Parker, James Garmston
Tries – Foster (2), Thompson (51)
Goals – Hart 2
Miners – Jonny Youds, Andrew Hodson, Steven Marsh, Adam Thomason, Andrew Groves, Jimmy Muir, Scott O’Brien, Gary Gittins, Tom Farrimond, Darryl Kay, Liam Coleman, Martin Gray, Danny Jones Subs – Lee Gittins, Dave Rowlands, Tony Doyle, Luke Murfin
Tries – Muir (9), Thomason (18), Youds (22), L Gittins (54)
Goals – Youds 2
Sin-Bin – L Gittins (professional foul)
Referee – Greg Dolan
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