Rugby League


18 Mar 2024

National Conference League Round Up | Round 3

National Conference League Round Up | Round 3

A Round-Up of all the action from the four NCL Divisions, including a Pilkington Recs v Oldham St Annes Match Report.

Oldham St Annes win at Pilkington Recs - Match Report:

Pilkington Recs hosted Oldham St Annes in the NCL's game of the day at Ruskin Drive in Division Two. Twelve months ago there were two divisions between the sides but following the host's relegation and St Annes’ elevation they met on equal terms.

St Annes beat Wigan St Judes last week and were hoping that they could continue their promising form start while for Pilks, they were searching their first win of the campaign.

Early on, it looks like the visitors were going to run riot, particularly Kyle Saunders. The rangy prop made metres with every carry and was so difficult for the hosts to hold. St Annes scored from their first set when wonderful hands down the right gave debutant Jack Taylor just enough time and space to cross at the corner, although the conversion attempt from fullback Connor Rose drifted wide.

Then in the eleventh minute, the visitors went within range again before alertness from Michael Cashin saw him over from dummy half. This time Rose was successful with the goal and St Annes led 0-10. It had been a slow start from Pilks, but they gradually worked some field position and, after a dummy half break from Scott Simmons, made it count with the first of two tries for explosive second row Andy Morris, who bulldozed through from a hooked pass in the 18th minute for captain Tom Connick to goal.

Saunders running was finally stunted after a huge hit from Morris and for the remainder of the half, Pilks edged territory with Jon Keys well to the fore. Defences were now on top but seconds from the break St Annes cracked and the ever-consistent Phil Riley darted away from a play-the-ball to go under the posts and Connick put his side ahead at half-time with the conversion.

It was first blood in the second half for Pilks too as a strong start was rewarded three minutes in when Morris got to the line from Riley's pass and Connick's third conversion opened an 18-10 advantage. Five minutes later St Annes were back within two points after Cashin somehow grounded his second despite appearing to be pushed back in the field of play, and Rose converted.

Then in the 51st minute, they were back in front when another high speed move down the left. Callum Fletcher initiated before a quality pass from Rose saw Callum Cashin beat three defenders to score from forty metres. Rose added his third goal and the visitors led 18-22.  The prolific Cashin scored 20 tries last term and only a last-ditch low tackle from Josh O'Connell stopped him but on the next play Pilks were short and former Newsome Panther Matteo Di Zaffino surged down the left and his inside pass bounced up in favour of Cashin for his second score of the game just after the hour.

It was 18-26 and Pilks did well to hold Fletcher up. Ellis Davies almost found his way over and Keys also went close for Pilks before Josh O'Connell threaded a kick through and teenage fullback Callum Derrick chased on to score. Connick's fourth goal closed the deficit to 24-26 before a kick return try of quality fell the way of Callum Cashin, beating six men in total in a ninety-metre run as he ran from his wing position to the centre of the ground and sped clear from half-way. Rose tagged on his fourth goal and St Annes held the lead for the remainder of the game to claim a 32-24 away success.

National Conference League Round 3 Round Up:

In the Premier Division Egremont Rangers claimed their maiden win of the year with Matt Bewsher's two goals separating them from derby rivals Wath Brow Hornets. Then, Hunslet ARLFC were given a tough test from Thatto Heath before eventually winning 22-10 and a hat-trick from Dakota Tolhurst was the highlight of Rochdale Mayfield's 16-34 win at Lock Lane. 

A player of the match performance from Lewis Hosty and a dynamic second half helped Siddal to a 4-40 win at West Bowling with them applying thirty second half points without reply. West Hull were given a real test by promoted Heworth before winning through 24-10 in a game that was switched from York due to the state of Heworth's pitch. And York Acorn put their Betfred Challenge Cup heroics behind them to get their league campaign up and running with a 28-12 home success over Kells.

Waterhead had to postpone their home tie with Clock Face due to a waterlogged pitch in Division One but there was still plenty of action to enjoy with Crosfields turning Warrington blue and yellow with a 36-18 derby success over Woolston Rovers that included two tries from Nathan Taylor and two tries from Dylon Braddish.

Four tries from Adrian Holdsworth helped Oulton Raiders to a 10-56 win at Hull Dockers while Leigh Miners won at Ince Rose Bridge and Dewsbury Moor Maroons continued their excellent start to the year with their third win on the bounce, this time enjoying a 24-14 success over Stanningley. Two tries from Dave Thompson proved the highlight as Wigan St Pats won 12-30 at Skirlaugh.

In Division Two, Dewsbury Celtic and Barrow Island were locked at 4-4 at half-time, before Celtic had a second half to remember to surge 32-4 clear. Myton Warriors also surged away from visitors Millom in the final quarter with Lee James completing a hat-trick on route to a 44-24 success and it was another strong second half from Normanton Knights who defeated Saddleworth Rangers 28-6. Brad Wakenshaw grabbed a hat-trick as Shaw Cross Sharks saw off Ellenborough Rangers in another high-scoring game 32-24, while a Lewis Melling treble and 16-points from Danny Cassidy brought a 28-24 comeback win for Wigan St Judes against Thornhill Trojans.

Only two of the four scheduled games survived the weather in Division Three with Beverley v Bentley and Featherstone Lions v East Leeds postponed. Distington won a hard-fought battle 6-14 at Drighlington to maintain their 100% start to life in the National Conference while Hensingham made it two wins in three with a 16-28 success at derby rivals Seaton Rangers, Josh Rogerson scoring a hat-trick in the process.

Results (16 March 2024):


Premier Division:

Egremont Rangers 12 Wath Brow Hornets 8

Rangers. T – Edwards, Corkhill; G – M Bewsher 2

Hornets. T – McCourt, Holgate


Hunslet ARLFC 22 Thatto Heath Crusaders 10

Hunslet. T – Morgan, Squires, Dargan, Hullock; G – Rowse 3

Crusaders. T – Hesketh, McCabe; G - Dickinson  


Lock Lane 16 Rochdale Mayfield 34

Lane. T – Moon, Moyston, Butler; G – Butler 2

Mayfield. T – Duffy 2, D Tolhurst 3, Long, Parr; G – Connolly 2, Higgs


West Bowling 4 Siddal 40

Bowling. T - Barrett  

Siddal. T – H Williams 2, Turner, Booth, Milnes, Greenwood 2; G – Hosty 6


West Hull 24 Heworth 10

Wests. T – Wood, Shore, Stewart, Opie-Palmer; G – Wilson 4  

Villagers. T – Craig, Morland; G - Allen


Switched from Heworth because of an unfit pitch.


York Acorn 28 Kells 12

Acorn. T – Potter 2, Porter, Hammerton, Conroy; G – A Chilton 4

Miners. T – Wear, Chambers; G – Wear, R Gainford


Division One:

Crosfields 36 Woolston Rovers 18

Soap. T – Abram, Braddish 2, Barber, Taylor 2, Holliday, Stanway; G – Stanway, Taylor  

Rovers. T – Fearnley, H Files, Roper; G – Leonard 3  


Hull Dockers 10 Oulton Raiders 56

Dockers. T – Birch, J Smith; G - Suddaby

Raiders. T – Holdsworth 4, Stevens 2, Jagger, Walpole, Metcalfe, Watson; G – Walpole 8  


Ince Rose Bridge 16 Leigh Miners Rangers 28

Bridge. T – Holcroft, Morrison, Shaw; G – Cottrill 2

Miners. T – Williamson, Lancelot, Philbin, Ashworth, Hamer; G – Hoyles 4


Skirlaugh 12 Wigan St Patricks 30

Skirlaugh. T – Sharpe, K Smith, Dunn

Pats. T – Sproat-Williams, Brown, Thompson 2, Gaskell; G – Kendrick 5


Stanningley 14 Dewsbury Moor Maroons 24

Stanningley. T – Whitaker, Ruan, Taylor; G - Taylor  

Maroons. T – Crossley, Colbridge, Woodcock, Markland; G – Walker 4  


Waterhead Warriors v Clock Face Miners

Postponed (waterlogged pitch)


Division Two:

Dewsbury Celtic 32 Barrow Island 4

Celtic. T – Cummins, Yarrow 2, Thornton, McKinnell, Teale, Kelly; G – Cummins 2  

Island. T – Dutton-Rosconie  


Myton Warriors 44 Millom 24

Warriors. T – L James 3, Slater 2, Fewlass, Fisher, Douglas; G – Sanderson 6

Woolybacks. T – Hodgson 2, Terrill, Hartley; G – Postlethwaite 4


Normanton Knights 28 Saddleworth Rangers 6

Knights. T – Hinchcliffe, Barker, A Biscomb, Joe Crossland; G – Jacob Crossland 6  

Rangers. T – Perry; G - McManus


Pilkington Recs 24 Oldham St Annes 32

Recs. T – Morris 2, Riley, Derrick; G – Connick 4

Saints. T – Taylor, M Cashin 2, C Cashin 3; G – Rose 4


Shaw Cross Sharks 32 Ellenborough Rangers 24

Sharks. T – Wakenshaw 3, Woods, Tomlinson, Stephenson; G – Tomlinson 4

Rangers. T – Ostle, Todd 2, Olstrom; G – Mumberson 4  


Wigan St Judes 28 Thornhill Trojans 24

Judes. T – Melling 3, Parkinson, Cassidy; G – Cassidy 4  

Trojans. T – S Ratcliffe, Gibson, Pritchard, R Ward; G – Gibson 4


Division Three:

Beverley v Bentley

Postponed (unfit pitch)


Drighlington 6 Distington 14

Drighlington. T – Hallas; G – J Sanderson  

Distington. T – Rooke, Fox; G – George 3


Featherstone Lions v East Leeds

Postponed (waterlogged pitch)


Seaton Rangers 16 Hensingham 28

Rangers. T – Bryan, Kemp, Williamson; G – Bryan, Smallwood

Hens. T – Brown, Rogerson 3, Weatherill; G – Weatherill 4

Upcoming fixtures (Saturday 23 March 2024):


Premier Division:

Kells v Hunslet ARLFC

Lock Lane v Heworth

Rochdale Mayfield v York Acorn

Siddal v West Hull

Thatto Heath Crusaders v Egremont Rangers

Wath Brow Hornets v West Bowling


Division One:

Clock Face Miners v Skirlaugh

Dewsbury Moor Maroons v Wigan St Patricks

Ince Rose Bridge v Crosfields

Oulton Raiders v Stanningley

Waterhead Warriors v Leigh Miners Rangers

Woolston Rovers v Hull Dockers


Division Two:

Barrow Island v Normanton Knights

Ellenborough Rangers v Pilkington Recs

Millom v Dewsbury Celtic

Oldham St Annes v Shaw Cross Sharks

Saddleworth Rangers v Wigan St Judes

Thornhill Trojans v Myton Warriors


Division Three:

Bentley v Featherstone Lions

Distington v Beverley

Milford v Drighlington

Seaton Rangers v Leigh East 


By Dave Parkinson

Photo Credit: Pilkington Recs