LEIGH Miners Rangers women’s team fell just short at a rainswept Manchester Regional Arena on Saturday in the Championship Final as old rivals Stanningley edged home 16-12.

It was a proud day for the Miners Rangers ladies who had toppled league winners Wakefield to earn their finals day appearance and the Leigh side struck first with a try for Charlotte Hill before Stanningley responded to lead 8-4 at the interval. Just two minutes into the second half though and Megan Eastwood’s try had Miners back on level terms. However Stanningley struck back and opened up an eight point lead and although Miners responded again through Leanne Johnson’s try the Leeds team’s defence just held out as Miners fell just short.

Result notwithstanding it has been another superb season for women’s rugby at Twist Lane with the senior side supported by the girls from the under-12s and under-14s teams and with another girls’ team to be added to the ranks in 2019 the sterling work of the women’s section is truly paying dividends – and providing a fantastic sporting and social opportunity for girls and young women across the town. The juniors could wish for no finer role model than captain Mairead Quinn, who capped a fine year by being named Championship Player of the Year in the after-match presentations.

On the men’s side Jack Reynolds is in the running to follow suit in the NCL Division One awards which take place on Saturday 27th October. Miners Rangers’ young centre or halfback, who has enjoyed a fine season which included his nerveless touchline conversion to force extra time in the Play-Off final, is in contention alongside fellow promotion winners Danny Ratcliffe, captain of Thornhill Trojans, and Lock Lane utility man Craig Savage.