Leigh Miners Rangers just edged this colossus of a match over West Hull by two points despite playing the final 27 minutes with twelve men following a sending off. Hull will be asking themselves why with some six minutes remaining why they decided to run a 35 metres kickable penalty which would have leveled the game.

The game featured some bruising hits by both sides as the forwards locked horns for supremacy and it was bit tasty throughout with no quarter given or taken. Rangers played down the slope hill (as had the two previous games winners).

There were few opportunities as both sides were feeling each other out but Rangers took the lead on 15 minutes following a great break by winger Will Lynch down the right. He was superbly tackled; two plays later scrum half Calum Coleman fed fullback Adam Livesey who went through a gap and jinked round Hull fullback Luke Moss to score, winger Sam Pilkington kicked the first of his three goals.

Four minutes later Hulls had a great chance for their first try as second row forward Tyler Mellors with a two man overlap drove for the line instead and was superbly tackled to thwart the try.

As the feistiness a Rangers forward was sinbinned but his sides defence held firm, on returning to the field the player was lucky to stay on as he was penalised for a late hit. From the resulting penalty Hull levelled the game up on 28 minutes, prop Will Gardiner driving for the live stuck his arm out to score and winger Lewis Wilson kicked the first of his two goals.

Rangers responded well having a James Collier try chalked off for a forward pass before winger Pilkington finished off a handling move down the left to score in the corner and added a superb touchline conversion to make it 12-6 on the stroke of half time.

The second half continued as the first no holds barred rugby league, but the complexion of the game changed on 43 minutes when a Rangers player was sent off. As they were reorganising their structures they were awarded a penalty and Pilkington made no mistake from 30 metres to make it 14-6.

Hull responded by taking advantage of the extra man and it was backs to the wall defending from the Rangers but their line was breached on 58 minutes as they spread the ball out wide right and standoff Oliver Ainsworth found a gap to plunge through and over and Wallace added the extras to make it a two point ball game.

Hull piled on the pressure and the Rangers began to tire although holding firm with last gasp tackles. As Hull got on top through their forwards they were awarded a penalty 35 metres out with six minutes after much deliberation they decided to run.

It proved to be a crucial mistake, as they drove to the line one of their forwards knocked on, on the third tackle much to the delight of the Rangers players and fans. Hull huffed and puffed at the Rangers line but the defence held firm as the whistle ended the game and Hull will rue for many a day the decision to run rather than take the kickable goal chance.

LEIGH MINERS RANGERS: Adam Livesey, Will Lynch, James Collier, Owen Hayes, Sam Pilkington, Josh Waterworth, Calum Coleman, Harry Darby, Oliver Livett, Brandon Tickle, Oliver Crompton, Andrew Badrock, Josh Hadland. Substitutes: Ewan Makinson, Matty Turton, Calum Disley, Ben McKeever.

Tries: Livesey, Pilkington,

Goals: Pilkington 3/3

WEST HULL: Luke Moss, Jamie Leigh, Red Silk, Reece Gooch, Lewis Wilson, Oliver Ainsworth, Elliot Jones, Jack Arnett, Connor Matthews, Will Gardiner, Marc Sellers, Tyler Mellors, Declan Jackson., Substitutes: Brandan Page, Matthew Wilson, Adam Frankish, Finn Johnson.

Tries: Gardiner, Ainsworth,

Goals: Wilson 2/2

Referee: Alex Cameron, Touch Judges: Matthew Clayton, Mathew Micklethwaite  

Player of the Match: Sam Pilkington (Leigh Miners Rangers)

Game filmed by Alpha Photography, 63 Dale St, Milnrow, Rochdale OL16 3NJ, 07973 735570

Steve Manning

BARLA Media Manager