Leigh Miners Rangers 26 Rochdale Mayfield 44
A ROLLERCOASTER of a game ended with Miners on the losing side despite a valiant comeback.
A 24-point half-time deficit ultimately proved too much to overcome.
When Miners roared back to within two points with 20 minutes remaining the most remarkable turnaround appeared on the cards but the critical next score went the way of the visitors, who then powered away with further tries to put some unfair gloss on the scoreline.
Miners swiftly responded to Mayfield's opener with a scintillating try, Tom Maloney breaking clear from inside his own half before Jack Reynolds kicked to the wing for Connor Ratcliffe to catch and touch down.
However the remainder of the half belonged emphatically to Mayfield.
With the ageless Chris Hough orchestrating proceedings Zac Hartley and Jack McDaid both helped themselves to braces, while Matty Ashton grabbed another for 28-4.
Ten sensational minutes after half time, with Darryl Kay and Frankie Halton leading the way, put the game right back in the balance.
Mitch Cox stormed over and then Halton bagged two quickfire tries as he backed up breaks down the left wing to score.
More sparkling rugby created an overlap for Jake Lloyd to sweep in at the corner as all the momentum seemingly lay with Miners.
But the decisive try didn’t come and instead Mayfield struck with two tries from Sean Watkins and a final score from Ashton.
Miners have a fortnight to regroup before the trip to West Hull.
The under 18s were 20-14 winners at Blackbrook with tries from Jack Gatcliffe, Louis Brogan, Joe Bordman and Anele Hlangwane, while Jack Gatcliffe added two goals.