Hindley secure Winter League semi-final spot

Hindley in action

Hindley in action

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Hindley took the honours in a tough battle against a good Oldham St Anne’s side who had beaten them a fortnight ago and with it secured top spot in the North West 
Counties Lower Division.

The home side’s defensive effort was the main factor in this impressive victory.

Playing with the wind at their backs, Hindley started the brighter, going close through Josh Donaghue and Stephen Sutcliffe.

Hindley opened the scoring when good work from Frank Phillips set the platform.

The quick thinking Sutcliffe found centre Chris Scarborough whose neat ball gave winger Raith Stringer a walk in by the corner flag.

A great touchline conversion from Sutcliffe gave Hindley a six-point lead.

Hindley should then have stretched their lead when Jake Hughes and Stephen Sutcliffe found Chris Scarborough whose pass was knocked-on by Raith Stringer with the line inf ront of him.

At the other end Oldham could have drawn matters level but a last ditch tackle from Paul Bushell saved the day.

Oldham were now taking the battle to Hindley but a magnificent defensive effort kept their opponents out for 14 tackles on their own line.

Hindley began the second half on the back foot and had to survive again through a massive defensive effort.

Paul Hersnip Danny Carney and Rob Bailey were outstanding.

But Hindley were then reduced to 12 men when Frank Phillips was sin-binned.

This seemed to spur the home side on and a break from Jake Hughes gave Hindley field position and Stephen Sutcliffe dropped an important goal to put Hindley 7 -0 in front.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, good yards from Josh Donaghue and James Lucas put Hindley deep into the Oldham half.

Jake Hughes found a hole in the defensive line to score from 20 metres out to complete a fantastic effort in heavy conditions.

Oldham St Anne’s are resigned to second place in the Lower Divison and Ince Rose Bridge are third.

St Helens sides Blackbrook and Pilkington Recs occupy the bottom two places on the ladder. North West Counties league clubs decided at a meeting to continue next season.

The league will be looking to increase participation figures and could possibly launch an entry league starting in the summer.