Kingstone Press Cider National Conference League round-up

PREMIER DIVISION

LEIGH MINERS RANGERS will face Siddal in the NCL Grand Final after edging past ROCHDALE MAYFIELD 30.24.

Miners – who will be looking to emulate Leeds Rhinos in pulling off a clean sweep of trophies in 2015 – have already lifted the Conference Challenge Trophy and the NCL League Leaders trophy, and will head to Widnes on Sunday looking to complete the treble.

Mayfield player-coach Matt Calland pulled off an interception try after just four minutes to give his side the lead, with Sam Butterworth adding the extras.

Leigh hit back through stand-off Jamie Muir – Jonny Youds improving – only for Rochdale to go 10 points clear thanks to touchdowns from full-back Lewis Sheridan and winger Declan Sheridan, the first of which Butterworth converted.

The sin-binning of Mayfield second-rower Eric Johnson just before the break certainly had an effect as winger Ellis Grimes and scrum-half Scott O’Brien both went over for converted tries to establish and 18-16 interval lead.

Centre Brad Hargreaves increased the home side’s advantage just before the hour-mark, before Youds landed a penalty with the game entering the final quarter.

Johnson charged over to cut the gap and offer Mayfield some hope, but the Miners took a firm grip on the contest with 10 minutes left as O’Brien broke clear to send Muir over before adding the goal himself.

Loose-forward Joe Quanici was sent off in the final moments following a fight which also saw Leigh’s Danny Jackson and Rochdale hooker Todd O’Brien receive yellow cards, before Mayfield had the final word when Declan Sheridan claimed his second try.

PREMIER DIVISION – QUALIFYING SEMI-FINAL

Saturday October 31

Leigh Miners Rangers 30 v 24 Rochdale Mayfield

DIVISION ONE

NORMANTON KNIGHTS booked their place in the play-off final after holding off a determined challenge from INCE ROSE BRIDGE to win 30-26.

The home side produced a clinical first-half display to lead 20-0 at the break after touchdowns from prop Ryan Kelsey, hooker Chris Woolford and centre Connor Wilson.

The accurate kicking of scrum-half Adie Mulcahy improved each effort and landed a penalty as the Knights placed one foot in the play-off final.

Stand-off Thomas Carroll increased crossed just three minutes into the second period for another Mulcahy converted score, but to their credit Ince refused to buckle and got themselves back into the game with three tries in nine minutes.

Scrum-half Connor Matthews opened their account and he was soon followed over by prop Reece Cunningham and second-rower Nathan Doherty.

Ken Baker improved a couple of them but their chances were not helped by the sin-binning of Jamie Malone for dissent.

Mulcahy halted the comeback with a try and his final conversion just before the game entered the final 10 minutes, although the visitors again responded with late efforts from Mitch Parr and Malone, plus a third goal from Baker.

A late try from Jake Calam sealed a 24-22 win for YORK ACORN over SHAW CROSS SHARKS.

The full-back was also on hand to cross in the first-half, whilst winger Josh Thompson also helped himself to a brace for the visitors, with man-of-the-match Joe Budd closing their try scoring account and landing a couple of goals.

The home side must of fancied their chances after crossing for three tries inside the opening 14 minutes from winger Ross Roebuck, centre Robbie Byatt and scrum-half Jordan Anderson.

Loose-forward Casey Johnson added a conversion, before his side were pegged back to 14-14 at the interval.

Stand-off Andrew Fawkes stepped his way over just three minutes after the re-start and Johnson added the extras and a penalty as the Sharks looked to take control.

However, it was not to be as Calam’s late effort booked a trip to Widnes for Acorn on Sunday.

DIVISION ONE – PLAY OFF SEMI-FINALS

Saturday October 31

Normanton Knights 30 v 26 Ince Rose Bridge
Shaw Cross Sharks 22 v 24 York Acorn

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