Rugby League


1 May 2023

NCL Round up: St Pats claim back-to-back-wins for the first time this season

NCL Round up: St Pats claim back-to-back-wins for the first time this season

Wigan St Patricks climbed to ninth in the Impact Performance National Conference Premier Division after a well-fought victory over neighbours and rivals Leigh Miners Rangers.

The hosts showed two sides to their game with an impressive first half that brought five tries and a 28-0 interval lead, while in the final twenty minutes, they impressively held Leigh Miners Rangers at bay after being reduced to twelve men following the dismissal of Danny Ryding.

Early on both sides enjoyed time attacking the others' goal line with Pat's Craig Thomas going closest to breaking the deadlock, but he was unable to hold a bullet pass amidst some heavy traffic.

Ten minutes in, Pat's went in front, when from a scrum, stand-off Connor Taylor stepped a defender and blazed seventy metres. Thomas added the goal 

Noah Lancelott was stopped short of the line at the other end after 15 minutes before Miners Rangers prop Joe Connor was sin-binned for a high tackle on Taylor. Initially, the visitors defended this deficit well, but Wigan St Patricks moved play intelligently and struck with a superb try from Sam Arrowsmith who weaved through the defence from fifty metres and kept two defenders guessing over the last twenty metres. Another try quickly followed when Dave Thompson cut inside after crisp passing work from the spine. Thomas again added the goal to make it 18-0.

From the restart the hosts were irresistible once more as veteran Liam Gannon inspired them with a break, Taylor followed up and Thomas finished, just twisting over despite the attentions of three would-be tacklers. He couldn't convert, but Pat's looked good at 22-0.

It got even better in the 34th minute when clever play from Taylor undid the defence and Jonny Brown supported through the middle to touch down at the side of the posts for Thomas to land his fourth goal. There was still time for Taylor to miss with a drop goal attempt before the break and Wigan St Patricks were rampant.

Leigh Miners Rangers were a different beast in the second half, more focused in attack and clinical in defence behind the efforts of Connor and outstanding substitute Steve Jones. Declan Flannery opened their account for the afternoon after a good pass from stand-in halfback Harvey Gotts. Sam Pilkington converted.

Another try for the visitors followed eleven minutes later when Will Ashworth cruised in from Marco Williamson's pass. Pilkington goaled and had a try of his own chalked off a couple of minutes later after being ruled offside. Wigan St Patricks were rocking and their cause wasn't helped when Danny Ryding was dismissed after making contact with the head in a crunching challenge.

Knowing they needed points quickly, Miners Rangers began moving the ball and were rewarded in the 67th minute when Lancelott sped 90 metres for a glorious wingers try. Pilkington's third goal made it 28-18.

Wigan St Patricks then tightened their line and made sure of their defensive detail before winning territory and securing the win after 74 minutes when Brad Smith dabbed the ball behind the goal line and was quickest to respond, grounding for a try that proved too far wide for Thomas to goal. It didn't matter in the final analysis as Wigan St Patricks completed a 32-18 win.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Hunslet ARLFC were pushed all the way before securing a 20-14 success at York Acorn while Wath Brow enjoyed derby success at Kells.

Low scores were the order of the day in Division One as Featherstone Lions collected their first win in seven games with a hard-fought 10-6 win at Crosfields, while over at Stanningley, they met with West Bowling for the second successive weekend, with Bowling returning to winning ways by 16-6.

An explosive Oldham derby saw Saddleworth come out on top over Division Two league leaders Waterhead thanks to Matthew Whitehead who contributed 14 of their points in a 26-25 victory. Shaw Cross Sharks also continued their excellent start to the season with success over Woolston Rovers.

On Friday night Hensingham claimed local bragging rights over Seaton in an entertaining clash.


Premier Division

  • York Acorn 14 Hunslet ARLFC 20
  • Wigan St Patricks 32 Leigh Miners Rangers 18
  • Kells 6 Wath Brow Hornets 28

Division One

  • Stanningley 6 West Bowling 16
  • Crosfields 6 Featherstone Lions 10

Division Two

  • Saddleworth Rangers 26 Waterhead Warriors 25
  • Shaw Cross Sharks 30 Woolston Rovers 26

Division Three

  • Hensingham 36 Seaton Rangers 26