Clock Face Miners
Sat 25 Feb 2017 | National Conference League Division 2 | Home
LEIGH EAST 7 CLOCK FACE 12
By Dave Parkinson
As far as pre-season games go what this lacked in quality handling was made up by intense defending and sheer will to win. Despite best efforts Leigh East were edged by Clock Face Miners in a close game. The 12-7 loss means that Clock Face retain the John Lewis Cup for the second time having won the inaugural competition last year.
Things started brightly for East when returning Jordan Hellam, fresh from a spell with Easts near neighbours Leigh Miners Rangers, split the defence and made thrity metres only to see an offload go to ground amid lack of support.
The physicality of both sides registered high on the thermometer when Kurt Ashcroft lashed out at Lee Rowley following a challenge that saw the East man penalised. The red mist descended for the Clock Face man but he was able to control his emotions moments later when swift passing created an opportunity and Ashcroft chipped ahead and won the race to notch the first try of the game. Stand off Martin Hutton missed the conversion and despite some good field position for both sides, it remained 4-0 to Clock Face at the break.
In to the second half East attacked with renewed vigour and finally found a way over the line after 54 minutes when James Noon hulked his way over. Tom Worthington struck an excellent goal from near the touchline and the hosts led 6-4.
Ten minutes later at the other end of the pitch, a grubber kick caused a minor panic and East were penalised for obstructing the chaser. Hutton hit the penalty and it was all square after 65 minutes.
Plenty of hard work saw the East forwards gain field position and Tom Worthington hit a drop goal for his side to nudge in front again with eleven minutes remaining. Errors from both teams kept thing interesting before Josh Adudwumaa seemingly had the ball ripped away in a two man tackle. As East stopped waiting a decision from the match official, Nathan Ashcroft ran to the line. Hutton goaled and despite best efforts Leigh East couldn't break through, meaning the trophy will stop at Clock Face for another 12 months.
Despite the result it was a good hit out for the team who will be looking for a big performance when the Kingstone Press National Conference Division Two campaign kicks off next week at home to Askam.