WIGAN St Patrick’s moved back into the top six play-off places with a last-gasp win at Ince Rose Bridge.
The 38-36 scoreline leaves Rose Bridge in the relegation zone by two points as the 12-try thriller had the Pinfold Street crowd on edge.
Rose Bridge took a 12-0 lead with tries from Adam Jones and Kirean Malone but Pat’s hit back to lead 18-12 at the break with tries from John McCoy, Stephen Simm and Brad Smith.
Liam Marshall extended St Pat’s lead early in the second half but Rose Bridge took control of the game to score three tries of their own.
Kieran Eccleston, scored a brace with David Hoctor also adding a score.
Robbie Valentine kicked a penalty for Ince to give them a 36-30 lead with just eight minutes remaining. But Phil Glover crossed for St Pat’s with Smith adding the conversion to bring the scores level before Smith’s last minute penalty was struck between the uprights to give St Pat’s a vital win in their push for the play-offs and puts Rose Bridge in further danger of relegation to NCL Division One.
Rose Bridge are two points behind Skirlaugh and have played a game more but crucially, the sides meet next weekend as Rose Bridge catch up on home games after having spent much of their season on the road.
St Pat’s are now two points above play-off rivals Leigh miners Rangers.
Edgremont Rangers and Siddal sit one and two points above St Pat’s respectively so the Wigan side might be able to climb the table if they can keep stringing wins together.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Leigh Miners and Hull Dockers played-out a thrilling 18-18 draw which leaves the Miners two points adrift of St Pat’s in the hunt for a play-off spot. Miners’ tries came from Andrew Groves, Jimmy Muir and Jonny Youds as they led 18-10 going into the final 10 minutes of the match before Hull hit back.
WIGAN St Cuthbert’s got off to a winning start as they made their debut in the NWCs Winter League, defeating fellow newcomers, Eccleston Vikings 25-16.
In a hard fought contest, St Cuthbert’s had the better of the opening exchanges and were first to register a try in the 15th minute when Cottrill’s cross-field kick twas taken by wingman Barry Gregson who went over for a try in the corner.
Cottrill’s touchline conversion gave the home side a 6-0 lead but the vistors hit back immediately from the re-start when St.Cuthbert’s spilled possession and Eccleston took full advantage with an unconverted try.
StCuthbert’s however were able to respond with two further tries of their own before the interval.
First, in the 21st minute, second row forward Jacob Clarke was sent through a gap close to the Eccleston line by Steve Hunt’s pass to score a well taken try and five minutes before half time hooker Jacob Hunt dummied his way over the line from acting half-back for a try which extended St Cuthbert’s lead.
In a closely fought second half Eccleston came back strongly and a converted try on 55minutes brought them right back in the match.
St Cuthbert’s managed to tighten their defences and resisted Eccleston’s best attacking moves before making the game safe in the 70th minute when wingman Jimmy Denning raced over for a try goaled by Cottrill.
In the final minutes Eccleston scored a further consolation try of their own before a drop-goal by Cottrill completed the scoring for St Cuthbert’s and a successful start to their winter campaign.