Slow start in semi cost Leyland dear

Si Dempsey carries the ball against Leigh Miners Rangers
Si Dempsey carries the ball against Leigh Miners Rangers

Leyland Warriors were left to reflect on the poorest possible start to their North West Men’s League Trophy semi-final at Leigh Miners Rangers, where they went down 52-34.

They gave away several back-to-back penalties, which resulted in a try for the hosts.

This then triggered an avalanche of points, brought on by more soft penalties and uncharacteristically poor defensive work.

By the time they completed a full set of six, Warriors were 36-0 down after half-an-hour.

Shortly before half-time, a piece of individual brilliance from Leon Fifield got Leyland on the board when he managed to get his fingertips to a Miners’ pass and race 90 metres before adding the conversion.

In the second half, from Fifield’s towering kick-off, Craig Dootson collected superbly to score and Fifield converted.

Leyland continued to improve, and when Adam Wood got his arm free in a tackle, Si McDonald took the offload and broke clear.

He drew the full-back and was able to slip the ball to Scott Low to score, with Fifield on target again.

On the back of some quick play-the-balls, Dan Horridge was able to show great footwork to step the full-back for a fine solo try, with Fifield converting again.

Leyland’s belief was growing and Stewart McLean chimed in from full-back to make up the numbers and the ball was moved left through hands to Fifield, who scored out wide.

Warriors continued to pile on the pressure and some slick handling inside the 20 metre line saw Si Dempsey spin out of the tackle and drag the fullback over.

Fifield’s conversion brought the Warriors back to within a score but Leigh scored out wide to extend their lead and Miners ran in two late tries to seal the win 52-34.

Warriors Under-11s finished the first half of their season with thrilling 24-18 win at Limehurst Lions, who had been defeated just once all season.