Pacesetters St Jude’s shocked by Eccles late show

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WIGAN St Jude’s put in possibly their worst performance of the season and were deservedly beaten 28-26 by a more determined and better organised Eccles outfit in the NCL Division One.

Jude’s crossed first after 15 minutes when a slick pass from Dean Hunt put Paul Pendlebury under the posts. Scott Robinson converted.

Eccles replied with a grubber kick through a static defence which saw them win the race to score and add the goal.

Hunt was causing a lot of problems for the Eccles defence with some astute kicking and deft passing and he put man of the match Nathan Jones through.

Jones’ skipped over and Robinson again added the extras.

The next score was probably the turning point of the game.

Hunt wriggled over by the sticks but was injured in the process and had to leave the field.

However, St Jude’s didn’t appear to be in trouble at this stage, taking a 12-point lead into the break after finishing the first half well in control.

But it was all Eccles in the second half as their big pack were allowed to get a roll on.

This resulted in them crashing over for two converted tries through some paper thin defence to bring the scores level.

Robinson kicked a penalty to edge Jude’s in front again and with seven minutes to go loose forward Pendlebury picked up from the base of the scrum and scampered 50 metres to score.

Robinson tagged on the goal and St Jude’s must have thought they had pinched it at 26-18.

But Eccles had other ideas and a string of soft penalties from the home side kept themselves under pressure.

The visiting forwards sniffed victory – their loose forward forced his way over for a try but the goal attempt was wide.

In the final minute, weak defence again resulted in Eccles forward, Chris Smith crashing over and the conversion from Andrew Muscat sealed the dramatic shock win for the visitors.

Eccles now sit 15 points behind St Jude’s on the NCL Division One table with four wins from 11 games.

The win also pulls Eccles out of the relegation zone.

St Jude’s face a trip to Waterhead on Saturday June 29 and will quickly want to get back to winning ways.

Waterhead slumped to a 40-18 defeat at Rochdale Mayfield on Saturday and sit seventh in the league table.

The last time St Jude’s met Waterhead, the Wigan outfit came out 34-26 winners after a thrilling encounter before being knocked out of the National Conference Cup by Division One rivals Hunslet Warriors.

NCL Premier

A STRONG all round performance from St Pat’s earned a tremendous 30-0 victory that moved them up to fourth place in the National Conference Premier Division.

St Pat’s took a 2-0 lead after 13 minutes with a Dean Hatton penalty goal but had to wait until the 27th minute for the first try through Jayden Sandford.

Egremont had a score ruled out for a forward pass 15 minutes after the break before St Pat’s increased their lead with Phil Glover and Anthony Griffiths straightening play up and going close to allow hooker Brad Smith to dive over from acting half.

Just four minutes later, Griffiths chipped over and regathered allowing Brad Hargreaves to put Andy Higham in for an unconverted try.

Egremont would not lie down and the St Pat’s defence needed to be strong on many occasions.

In the closing five minutes St Pat’s added some gloss to a well earned victory with Keiran Harrison scoring from close range.

Athony Griffiths finished the scoring with two minutes to go after finishing a great move straight from the kick off involving three players.

St Pat’s face Hull Dockers on Saturday June 22.

LEIGH Miners Rangers turned in one of their best performances of the season so far as they beat East Hull 50-22.

A sparkling display of attacking rugby put East Hull to the sword and closed the gap on the teams above Miners in mid-table.

But the game wasn’t without its nervy moments as Easts came back from 34-6 down to close to within 12 points before Miners eased through.

John Woods opened the scoring from twenty metres out then a fine flowing piece of rugby involving five players and covering half the length of the pitch ended with Jackson crashing in for the second home try inside the first six minutes.

Woods scored his second and Scott O’Brien added another before half-time.

The Leigh side continued to rack up the points after the interval as Andrew Hodson and Adam Thomason scored.

Miners stabilised when Hodson finished off for his second and in the closing stages further tries for O’Brien and Thomason rounded off the afternoon’s work.

INCE Rose Bridge dropped into the relegation zone of the Premier Division after a 28-4 defeat at West Hull.

Ritchie Shaw grabbed the only try for the Wigan outfit who now sit 13th.