ST Patrick’s hit sensational form to win 22-8 at Wath Brow (Cumbria) in the National Conference League Challenge Cup semi-final.
They now meet Leigh Miners Rangers, who won the other semi against Milford 34-18, in the final on September 29.
This stays local, as it takes place at Leigh Sports Village as part of a triple-header also featuring the rugby league Championship play-offs.
This superlative display by St Pat’s owed much to the return of two or three stars from injury and holidays but most to one 100 per cent commitment for the full 80 minutes.
Formidable though the home side were, it is fair to say there was no period of the game when St Pat’s were not the better team.
They made a strong start, but Brow drew first blood after 15 minutes when centre Frank King won a struggle to touch down following what the visitors claimed was a forward pass.
St Pat’s stepped up the pressure, and three would-be try scorers crossed the line but were held up.
At last on 39 minutes Jayden Sandford received a well-aimed pass from Joe Prior, twisted round and cut through to make the try line. Dean Hatton converted.
In first half injury time St Pat’s came right back on attack with Ryan Smith and Dean Hatton prominent and Liam Gannon stretched over to make the touchdown when tackled.
Dean Hatton landed an important penalty goal on 48 minutes to ensure that Brow would have to score twice to catch up.
On the hour came a superb try.
Full back Jayden Sandford came into the line to set up position and a cracking pass by Steve Simm released right winger Matt Charnock, who swerved beautifully round the full back to score.
Wath Brow right winger Peter Caddy had been giving the visitors problems.
Two long runs by him were cut off just short of the line.
However, a third one on 68 minutes led to a try by second row Matt Huby, though at 16-8 St Pat’s remained two scores clear.
They set the seal on their victory with a couple of minutes left with what was almost an action replay of their previous try.
Sandford and Simm again launched Matt Charnock, who eluded one would-be tackler and carried a second over the line with him.
Dean Hatton landed a magnificent goal from the touchline.
St Pats’ visit West Hull in the league on Saturday.
ASHTON entertained Portico in the quarter finals of the NWML cup and played some scintillating flowing rugby to score eight tries in a 46-16 victory.
It was skipper Brent Knox who led the Bears’ pack superbly and they took everything the big Portico forwards threw at them and set the platform for the speedy backs.
Portico were first on the scoreboard with a converted try after five minutes but Bears responded on eight minutes when Chris Rothwell scored out wide and five minutes later, straight from a scrum, young half backs Tom Hopkins and Matty Smith fed Andy Ball who stormed over.
Portico responded in the 35th minute with another converted try to lead 12-10.
But within two minutes Ashton hit the front again with a great try starting with Matty Melling fielding a kick on his own line running 50 metres before quick hands across the line to Caine Thompson let him speed over. Right on half time centre Dan Smith crossed again after some great handling. Two more goals from Matty Melling gave the Bears a 22-12 at half-time lead.
Ashton increased their lead on 42 minutes – again superb hands from Andy Bailey and Peter Shaw sent Chris Rothwell under the posts and Ashton repeated the dose on 55minutes.
On 70 minutes Andrew Maunders crossed after a great passing movement.
WIGAN St Judes A team travelled up to Cumbria to face third in the league Ulverston and came away losing 34–16,
But the loss was not down to lack of effort or commitment from the lads that played, in a game that was close in the first half with St Jude’s just 16–10 down at half time.
St Jude’s ball control and a lack of discipline resulting in daft penalties allowed Ulverston to score three tries and two conversions in the last 15 minutes of the game to take victory.
Try scorers for St Jude’s were: Glen Hunt 2 and Baz Rothwell. Conversions were kicked by Darryl King.
Man of the match from the opposition was Andrew Silcock, pushed hard by Darryl King, John Astle and Tom Whelan.
St Jude’s A are ninth in the North West Men’s League Division One with Wigan Spring view occupying top spot.
In the Preimer Division Shevington Sharks lost 34-6 to Clock Face Miners and the Sharks now sit in eighth position in the table.
Ashton Bears are in fifth place.