It’s win or bust for Leigh Miners on Saturday when they take on local rivals Wigan St Pats in the NCL Kingstone Press Cider Premier Division Elimination Playoff, Kick off 3pm at Twist Lane.
Miners go into Saturdays “Battle of the Borough” clash having missed out on second spot on points difference after they lost 36-22 away at Rochdale Mayfield and West Hull hammered Lock Lane 48-0. After starting the game well and leading 18-6 with tries from Connor Ratcliffe, Scott O’Brien and Todd Fenlon, Miners conceded two sloppy tries to go in level 18-18 at the break.
Youngster Robert Crompton who had a very good game restored the lead after the break with a try but that’s as good as it got for Miners, after they came up with a couple of crucial errors that allowed Mayfield straight back into the game and from that they never looked backed as they finished strongly to win the game to set up a home playoff tie against Wath Brow Hornets this weekend.
This week Miners know they are going to be in for a very tough game against a St Pats who on there day can beat anyone in the competition, the lads are looking forward to the challenge as they are determined to keep the dream alive of winning back to back grand finals.
Coach Allan Coleman makes six changes from the game at Rochdale Mayfield, with Andrew Groves (work), Kyle Disley, Tom Farrimond (weekend away), Lewis Grimes, Elliot Liku and Dave Rowlands (injured) dropping out of the seventeen. Coming into the side are Will Ashworth, Joe Digby and Jordan Hellam who all return to the side after playing for England Lions u18s last weekend along with Matt Astley, Gary Gittins and Mark Nicholson.
Wigan St Pats travel to Leigh having lost their final league game away at Siddal last weekend, an under strength Pats side losing 34-12. This weekend John Ellis’s side are expected to have several key players back and they will no doubt be coming in a confident mood, looking to knock the champions out of the playoffs.
When the two teams have met in the league this year the result as gone with comfortable victories for the home side on both occasions, with Miners winning in May at Twist Lane 32-14 and St Pats winning 28-10 in August at Clarington Park.
Leigh Miners second team are at home on Saturday against Widnes Tigers in the league, kick off 1pm at Twist Lane.
Leigh Miners Ladies play in their third final of the year on Saturday afternoon when they take on Oulton Raidettes in the Women’s Super Six Group B grand final, kick off 1pm at The Select Security Stadium in Widnes.