Leigh Miners Rangers 32 East Leeds 8
MINERS Rangers produced a commanding display in atrocious conditions to send East Leeds down to their first league defeat of the season.
The home side withstood the physical challenge posed by the highly-regarding top-flight newcomers, and a dismal afternoon of strong winds, torrential rain and hail showers, to record this utterly convincing victory, built upon a tremendous defensive display and clinical precision in attack orchestrated by the outstanding Scott O’Brien.
The victory was established by half time, with Miners 26-0 to the good after 40 minutes spent almost entirely in the Easts’ half.
Adam Thomason opened proceedings as he was first to O’Brien’s kick to the right corner, Jonny Youds with the conversion.
Miners extended their advantage when O’Brien and Shaun Dowie linked well to put Sean MacDonald over at the left corner and the tries followed at regular intervals thereafter, Youds the next on the score sheet as he finished off well from O’Brien’s break, then the Miners’ captain on the score sheet himself as he scythed through from 25 metres out to go under the posts.
Danny Jackson concluded the scoring for the half as he backed up a Thomason and O’Brien break to finish the half with Miners well on top.
East had been battered into submission in the first forty but they showed their spirit after the break and whilst the comeback was never on the cards they did register tries of their own from Jason Priestley and Dale Pattinson, but with conditions unrelenting the game entered something of a lull before Miners rounded off the scoring in the final minute, O’Brien’s kick to the corner bouncing back in-field and MacDonald swooping to touch down, Youds with another excellent conversion to conclude matters.
The Alliance team enjoyed a fine Friday night victory over Woolston while the women’s team were victorious in their opening fixture at Chorley.
The under 18s suffered a narrow home defeat to Ince Rose Bridge 24-20 with the Miners’ tries coming from Chris Worrall, Jamie Hall, Alex McPolin and Declan Flannery, Adam Ashurst with two goals.
Alliance team scorers against Woolston were Garry Fitzmartin, Chris Slater, Sam Shepherd (also five goals), Matty Campbell, John Woods and Joe Harrison.
This Saturday the first team travel to Skirlaugh, 2.30pm, with the Alliance team hosting Portico Vine, 2.30pm.
On Sunday the under 18s travel to Wigan St Pats with the women’s team hosting Rochdale Hornets 1pm.