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Ncl

12 Jun 2022

Lock Lane maintain pressure on NCL Premier Division top four

Lock Lane maintain pressure on NCL Premier Division top four

Before a ball was kicked, this promised to be an excellent Premier Division contest in front of the Our League cameras and it didn't disappoint as fifth-placed Lock Lane hosted third-placed Thatto Heath Crusaders.

Early on, it was all Thatto who due to players unavailable, named five pivot players in their seventeen. With plenty of ball movement, it was the visitors asking all the questions and they took the lead in the first seven minutes when Matty Norton threw a dummy and powered to the line. It was too far out for Jack Jones to convert but it was 4-0 to Thatto.

An early head clash forced a change for the hosts with Shaun Pick making way for Danny Holmes and the second row got himself heavily involved alongside skipper Chris Siddons and Zac Braham. Lewis Foster broke for Thatto and the ball was then switched wide on the right to Corey Lee and he kicked in field looking for Ryan Houghton. Fullback Bailey O'Connor then picked up possession and beat four players to get to halfway.

He was supported by debutant Connor McGrath and that set the tone for Egan and McGrath to link and it went wide on the bounce for Holmes to touch down after 21 minutes and Calum Butler landed the first of four goals to put Lane in front.

With their forwards setting an excellent platform, and Thatto coughing the ball up several times, Lock Lane began to dominate possession and territory. Thatto were brave but couldn't keep up and Dan Maskill cleverly sold a play by the posts to plunge in from dummy half. Butler goaled and it was 12-4.

Then just before the half-time whistle Lock Lane got the position again and while the visitors anticipated a play involving Nathan Fozard on the left, a flat ball instead found the outstanding Siddons and he hulked his way over the line. The conversion made it 18-4 at half-time.

Thatto Heath Crusaders came out a renewed side for the second half and scored a couple of minutes in thanks to a great pass from Harry Reardon which allowed Dave Pike the space and time to dot down his eleventh try of the season.

Sean Leicester converted and it was 18-10 and all to play for. The contest ebbed and flowed until the hour when Thatto launched an attack on the right and a superb offload from Brad Ashurst was touched down by Corey Lee. This time Leicester couldn't convert but the game was finely poised at 18-14 to the hosts. Six minutes later there was a golden opportunity for Thatto, Reardon twice kicking on but the ball wouldn't sit up for Brad Pinder.

Four minutes later a pin-point high kick from Dan Sowerby looked to have been taken by Tom Egan but he was unable to ground. Egan then saw a penalty attempt waved wide and the Lock Lane centre continued to feature as he then picked off a Jones pass to surge inside Thatto's half but an offload for Butler was put down.

Chances continued to pile up with Jones threading a kick through for Corey Lee but he lost the ball when trying to pass to support on his inside. James Cranswick was hauled back in the act of scoring for Lock Lane and when Thatto conceded a penalty after Butler forced an error, it was Butler that stepped in to kick his fourth and seal the win at the end. Siddons was selected a deserved man of the match.

Thatto's defeat coupled with a narrow victory for Wath Brow sees the Hornets leap above Mike Woods' side. West Hull maintained their three-point buffer at the top of the table while further defeats for Egremont Rangers and York Acorn see them entrenched in the relegation zone.

A fine win on the road at Stanningley keeps Kells in pole position in Division One, although Wigan St Pats and Hull Dockers keep up the pressure.

The Warrington derby between Crosfields and Woolston was a highlight on Friday night in Division Two with two tries in three second-half minutes giving the hosts an advantage before they won 28-16, while on Saturday Barrow Island lost to Hunslet Warriors and Heworth kept up pressure with a 26-22 win over Clock Face Miners.

East Leeds squeezed home 22-14 at Shaw Cross Sharks with Leigh East easing their re-election worries with a solid win at Bentley in Division Three.

Results:

Premier Division

  • Hunslet Club Parkside 30-14 York Acorn
  • Lock Lane 20-14 Thatto Heath Crusaders
  • Pilkington Recs 30-8 Thornhill Trojans
  • Rochdale Mayfield 33-24 Leigh Miners Rangers
  • Wath Brow Hornets 14-10 Siddal
  • West Hull 56-6 Egremont Rangers

Division One

  • Ince Rose Bridge 32-12 Oulton Raiders
  • Milford 20-36 Featherstone Lions
  • Skirlaugh 18-18 West Bowling
  • Stanningley 14-22 Kells
  • Wigan St Patricks 72-0 Myton Warriors

Division Two

  • Dewsbury Moor Maroons 18-16 Wigan St Judes
  • Heworth 26-22 Clock Face Miners
  • Hunslet Warriors 23-16 Barrow Island
  • Crosfields 28-16 Woolston Rovers

Division Three

  • Batley Boys 6-14 Oldham St Annes
  • Bentley 22-34 Leigh East
  • Eastmoor Dragons 10-44 Millom
  • Waterhead Warriors 88-6 Drighlington
  • Shaw Cross Sharks 14-22 East Leeds