John Mooney: Skirlaugh vs West Hull
Skirlaugh gained two valuable points and are out of the relegation zone after a surprise victory over neighbours West Hull in the NCL Premier Division at Eastside. After eight successive defeats, the home side grabbed the initiative from the start over their opponents, who had ten changes to the side that beat Leigh Miners last week, mainly due to a stag party being held in Amsterdam.
Two converted tries in the opening twenty minutes signalled the home side's domination, especially with Carl Puckering pulling all the strings, but Wests hit back with a converted try to narrow the gap. A mistake from a high kick just before the break saw Skirlaugh take an 18-6 lead and Matty Norman's drop-goal on the hooter gave them a comfortable 19-6 advantage at the break.
With a strong wind at their backs, Wests began clawing back some ground and with Nathan Powley's probing and Josh Nicklin's clever play from halfback they scored two quick tries which brought them to within a converted try. However, the game had degenerated into a scrappy error-strewn affair and neither side could add to their tally in the closing stages though Skirlaugh looked to have a legitimate claim for a penalty goal chalked off by the referee, who didn't have the assistance of linesmen.
Skirlaugh remain fourth from bottom on points difference while Wests stay fifth. Elsewhere, Myton Warriors had a cracking 36-18 victory over Kells and in Division One Dockers got back to winning ways 24-10 over Featherstone Lions.