Long road back for Wigan St Patricks
Wigan St Patricks pride themselves on being 'the best known amateur rugby league team on the planet', which is indisputable given the vast number of star-name professionals they have produced. However, tradition alone won't get them out of the NCL Division One as they found at Eastside against a determined Skirlaugh.
With veteran Carl Puckering pulling the strings and his half-back partner Natty Slater using his searing pace to good effect, the home side were quickly on the front foot when a fine passing movement enabled Sam Roe to crash over. Puckering added the extras but Pats came back strongly and nippy scrum-half Matty Horrocks shot between a static defence to score close enough for Snow Vewin to level the scores with the conversion.
Right on half-time, Slater chased down a long kick and a quick play-the-ball found Matty Harling coming through on the burst and few defences are able to contain the big centre. Puckering converted from the touchline and Skirlaugh went in with a 12-6 advantage which was quickly doubled when Puckering outwitted the Pats defence to stroll in near the posts for an easy conversion.
Pats threw plenty at the home side but the defence held out well and it was no great surprise when, after a Puckering penalty took the game beyond the visitors, Harling went in again to make it 24-6 and a late consolation from Pats' best player Joey Meninga didn't take the shine off what was a strong display from Skirlaugh.
In the same division, Myton Warriors came back from 12-0 down at Milford to win 31-22. Two tries from youngster Dan Precious plus singles from Liam Welham, Andy Oakes and Kris Walker with Ash James in good form with the boot were enough to secure the points for the Warriors.
Beverley faced the long journey to Askam in Cumbria without several key players plus coach Scott Taylor so were relieved to come away with the spoils, though only a Lewis Poskitt drop-goal separated the sides at the finish after they had been 12-0 in front in the early stages thanks to tries from Poskitt and Steve Connolly plus two Lewis Straw conversions.
West Hull maintained their grip on the Premier Division with a fine 26-12 victory at Kells. Still unbeaten in the League, they remain top though only on the slimmest of points difference over Wath Brow Hornets, who have played a game more.
Hull Dockers were the only local NCL side to lose on Saturday, coming home from Clock Face Miners with a 58-10 thrashing.
West Hull Academy beat East Hull 32-22 in the Yorkshire Men's League Premier Division while lower down the scale Wyke Academy beat Leeds Accies 26-20. Myton Warriors A came away from Normanton Knights with a 38-18 defeat and Skirlaugh Bulls lost 38-33 at Wakefield Hawks.