Miners and injury-hit Pat’s are up for the cup

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It’s Conference League Challenge Cup action for both Wigan St Pat’ s and Leigh Miners on Saturday as they look to book their semi-final spots.

Both teams made the semis last season with St Pat’s going down at Egremont while the Miners were able to win against Wath Brow Hornets to reach the final and then go on to lift the trophy at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Now the Miners have to defend their trophy against Shaw Cross Sharks as their quarter final opponents at Twist Lane, and Clarington Park will see St Pat’s welcome Bradford Dudley Hill, with both games kicking off at 2.30pm.

With both away teams from the lower divisions, the local Premier outfits will start as hot favourites, but there have been plenty of higher placed sides dumped out of the competition in the earlier rounds.

St Patrick’s welcome Dudley Hill as Premier Division leaders and in a rich vein of form.

They took over top spot after last week’s 56-6 victory over East Hull.

Yet St Pat’s have one or two problems to overcome not least the absence of four key players.

Coach Richard Owen said: “Unfortunately we have injuries to Simon and Anthony Atherton and Matty Charnock with Tom Atherton on holiday.

“All four have been playing out of their skins and are key reasons why we have been putting such a good run together.

“But then again the whole team is playing well and we do have a good squad of players this season with plenty of other chomping at the bit to be given their chance.

“Loose forward Phil Glover has been sensational and I don’t know what more he has to do to get a man of the match award.”

Leigh Miners’ opponents Shaw Cross, are a second division side that are right on top of their game having won 11 of their 13 fixtures to be just three points behind the leaders, with two games in hand.

They arrive at Twist Lane with a run of 10 straight wins including a 50-0 crushing of Hindley in the cup competition as well as a defeat of Eccles. Last Saturday they saw off title challengers Widnes West Bank 38-32 who are a side in rich form.

he Leigh side will no doubt be delighted to have home advantage and with players like goal-kicking full-back Johnny Youds and second row man Lee Gittens going strong they will be determined to hang on to the trophy they won in style last September.