LEIGH Miners Rangers exited the Challenge Cup at the first hurdle.

Their first run out of 2018 saw Premier Division Myton edge a see-saw contest 22-18.

Leading 12-0 at the break against their visitors, Miners fell away in the face of Myton’s comeback.

Although a late rally saw them snatch back the lead there was one final twist in the tale as the Hull outfit booked their place in round two and left Miners with just over a month to prepare for the main challenge of Division One rugby.

Miners dominated the opening half hour thanks to a solid pack performance as Darryl Kay, Frankie Halton, Mark Thomas and Mick O’Boyle put in strong stints, and they led when Tom Farrimond put out the pass for Halton to stride his way through.

Shortly afterwards Farrimond was influential again as he linked Will Ashworth into the attack and he in turn fed Todd Fenlon to finish at the corner.

Farrimond was forced from the field with injury and although Miners scored again in his absence they were destined to miss his experience as the game went on.

The third home try came when Kay stormed through from 15 metres out for a fine prop forward’s try.

Before the break Myton, missing several regulars with a flu virus, hinted they were far from finished and forced Miners into scrambling defensively.

Two minutes into the second half though a Miners attack foundered, the pass going to ground inside the Myton half, and Adam Piggott was first to react to gather in and sprint away to score.

Myton bagged a second score when Ellis Wray finished off out wide.

The game was turned on its head when Ash James hoisted a high kick to the wing and when the ball was fumbled his brother Lee swooped in to touch down.

Miners showed character to rally and regain the lead with seven minutes remaining, Kay driving on the last tackle and keeping the ball alive as he popped the pass out for Halton to carry defenders over the line.

Jack Reynolds’ goal provided Leigh with a narrow two-point lead.

But in the dying minutes Nathan Slater jinked through at the right corner and Ash James with the touchline conversion to put the visitors into the hat for round two.

Miners Alliance team won a friendly at Mancunians 28-26, while the under 18s had a walkover win against Hunslet Warriors in the National Cup.

On February 16 Twist Lane is scheduled to host Leigh Centurions Alliance against St Helens, while on February 24 the Lloyd Pugsley Memorial Trophy game against holders Leigh East is at 2.30pm at Twist Lane.