It’s “Battle of the Borough” time on Saturday when Leigh Miners make the short trip across the borough to take on local rivals Wigan St Pats in Round 18 of the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division, Kick off 2-30pm at Clarington Park.
Miners go into Saturday’s game having celebrated their 50th anniversary last weekend with a 48-14 victory against Lock Lane to stay second in the table. Miners where lucky to go in level 14-14 at the break after being poor in the first half, but six tries in what was a strong second half performance made it a comfortable victory for the Twist Lane outfit with Will Ashworth, Mitchell Cox and Scott O’Brien all impressing.
This week will no doubt be a tough physical battle as they always are against St Pats, with the players knowing only a win will do if they want to stay in the hunt for the minor premiership with Siddal who are two points clear at the top with five games remaining.
Coach Allan Coleman makes four changes from the side that beat Lock Lane last week, with Ellis Grimes, Ian Mort, Dave Rowlands and Jonny Youds coming into the side for Will Ashworth, Robert Crompton and Joe Digby who all drop back down to the u18s for their big game on Sunday and Andrew Groves who misses the game due to the NWML tour to Canada.
On last week’s 50th anniversary celebration victory against Lock Lane, coach Allan Coleman said “Lock Lane came to spoil the party.”
“In the first half we was full of errors with our completion around 55%, which is not good enough and that showed with the half time score.”
“In the second half we changed are plans and it worked.”
“We was more direct with the core and that built a platform to play quicker.”
“I thought we produced some great rugby and also kept Lock Lane scoreless in the second forty.”
Looking ahead to this week’s game against St Pats, Coleman added “These games like Saturday are the toughest for us.”
“It’s our derby game and we will have to be at our best.”
“Pats are a physical side who like to play tough, but we need to worry about how we play and take it one game at a time.”
Wigan St Pats where involved in a nail biting 33-32 home victory last weekend against York Acorn, a late Dean Hatton drop goal sealing the victory to move Pats up into sixth place on 18 points. With two of last years promoted sides in Kells and Pilkington Recs breathing down their necks, John Ellis men will know if they are to make the end of season playoffs they are going to have to win most if not all of their remaining five games.
Leigh Miners second team are away on Saturday against Halton Farnworth Hornets in the league.
The u18s play in the title decider against Thatto Heath Crusaders on Sunday, with the venue yet to be confirmed by the NWC.
Leigh Miners Ladies are at home on Sunday against Barrow Ladies in the semi final of the North West County Cup, kick off 2pm at Twist Lane.