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Rangers book final spot with Marlins victory
4:09pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in Sport
Leigh Miners Rangers 34 Milford Marlins 18
LEIGH Miners Rangers secured a shot at retaining the Conference Cup after booking a final spot against rivals St Pats at Leigh Sports Village.
The reigning champions recorded a 16-point win over Milford on Saturday to progress from the quarter finals.
Andrew Groves’ double and tries from Adam Thomason and Jonny Youds gave the hosts an early lead, before Sean Macdonald and Scott O’Brien scores killed off a relentless Milford.
Miners built a 10-point lead inside five minutes as Thomason broke through down the right to score and almost immediately kicked to the corner for winger Groves to dive in and ground the ball.
Youds – who converted Thomason’s try – added a penalty to increase Miners’ advantage before Liam Coleman broke away, switching right to Thomason who drew his man and offloaded for Groves to nip around the outside and touchdown.
Milford, roared on by three coach loads of travelling supporters, were back in the game with two quick scores of their own, first as Martin Loveridge sneaked in at the corner and then when centre Matt Harding wrestled through the tackles to touchdown.
However, O’Brien landed a penalty to ensure Miners’ lead and after the interval Youds stepped through the line and stretched out the tackle of opposite number Aaron Jones-Bishop to dot the ball down for a six-pointer.
A Loveridge penalty reduced the gap to one score and forced Miners to show resilience to keep the Leeds side at bay.
Having absorbed the increasing Milford pressure, Miners broke away in the closing stages and sealed the game when MacDonald finished off at the left.
With the final play of the game O'Brien wriggled through for another try, converted by Youds, to give Miners another showpiece occasion at the end of September to look forward to.
The first team return to league action when they host York Acorn on Saturday, 2pm.
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