LEIGH Miners Rangers lost out in the basement battle against fellow strugglers Skirlaugh and are now five points adrift of safety with five games remaining.

Victory was probably an imperative in this fixture but despite a much-improved showing late scores from Skirlaugh turned the contest in favour of the Humbersiders after Miners had led for almost three quarters of the game.

Early tries for Adam Thomason and Todd Fenlon, Tom Maloney converting one of those, opened up a 10-4 lead after Skirlaugh’s Mike Johnson drew first blood, and although the Saltend side did respond Jimmy Muir’s try gave the visitors the half time lead.

Miners continued to press in what was a tense second half and Jack Reynolds’ six-pointer maintained the narrow advantage but Skirlaugh regained the lead with a converted try with ten minutes remaining and as Miners pressed for the score which would have won them the game the Hull side wrapped things up in stoppage time with a try for Jed Carter.

The first team game was the only fixture last weekend and this Saturday the team host another of the relegation battlers as old foes Pilkington Recs make the journey to Twist Lane for a 2.30pm kick off.