ST Pat’s continued their fine away form with a hard-fought 26-14 victory at Skirlaugh.
This was a much needed victory as defeat would have put Pat’s just above the relegation places but victory maintained a top-six play-off push.
Pat’s started the game pushing hard at the Skirlaugh line but a loose ball was intercepted and Skirlaugh’s Ross Kemp managed to outstrip the defence to score a 90-yard try but full credit must go to Ryan Smith and James noon who chased back.
Pat’s continued to push and good work from Earl Hurst made an opening for the supporting Smith to level the score.
But Skirlaugh went back in front thanks to a superb short ball from stand-off Joe McLocklin which put second row Jonny Young into space to score a good try.
Kemp’s conversion put the hosts 10-4 up but again the lead was short lived.
Ryan Smith gave his trademark show and go to slide over and Brad Smith’s conversion levelled matters at 10-10.
Pat’s probably had the best of territorial advantage at this point but it was Skirlaugh who again took the lead with a 24th minute penalty goal.
The first half was played in heavy rain causing a few handling errors from both sides and on the stroke of half time a further Skirlaugh penalty goal from Kemp increased the lead to 14-10 at the break.
During the second half the rain eased and finally stopped which possibly suited Pat’s expansive handling game.
On 49 minutes, hardworking loose forward Jonny Brown was rewarded with a try as he came back onto a short ball to force his way over.
Brad Smith’s conversion put Pat’s ahead for the first time in the game.
The game was subject to a 10-minute stoppage due to a back injury to a Skirlaugh player.
Skirlaugh then had the better of the game for a spell and some strong defence was needed to keep them at bay, with Pat’s defending their line for four consecutive sets of six at one point and three consecutive shortly afterwards.
The lads overcame that with their line intact and increased the lead when Liam Gannon stormed onto a Ryan Smith ball to score.
Pat’s thought they had secured the game when Jonny Brown dived onto a loose ball behind the line but the referee ruled the ball had been touched down and made dead by a defender.
Skirlaugh continued to push but a loose pass cost them dearly as Ryan Smith intercepted and sprinted 50-yards to score his hat trick-try and secure the game.
Next Saturday St Pat’s are at home to Thatto Heath Crusaders with a 2-30pm kick off.
Hindley travelled to struggling Eastmoor, losing 22-18.
They were soon behind, conceding two early tries to trail by 8-0.
They hit back in the 20th minute after good work from Kieron Whittle and Chris Scarborough which saw Luke Belshaw go in under the sticks.
Minutes later Hindley were denied a try when Josh Donaghue powered through and a neat ball found the supporting Jordan Parkinson who went in unopposed, only for the play to be stopped for a forward pass.
Eastmoor took full advantage and scored on the back of a penalty to stretch their lead to 14-6.
Both sides then failed to complete their sets andthis saw Eastmoor convert a penalty for offside.
Deep into first half injury time Hindley hit back when Scarborough found Belshaw who slid over.
The second half got underway in torrential rain which saw plenty of early handling errors from both sides.
Eastmoor pressured the Hindley line but excellent defence from Rob Bailey and Paul Hersnip kept the line intact.
Hindley then had to reshuffle after losing hooker Daniel Bushell to a head injury.
The Wigan side took the lead for the first time in the game after a Kieron Whittle 40-20 gave Hindley field position.
From the scrum, quick hands saw centre Hersnip step through to score and Scarborough converted.
Hindley held on to lead for the next 10 minutes but with two minutes remaining the hosts crossed in the corner, with a good touchline conversion giving them a 22-18 lead.
Hindley had one final chance which saw Hersnip make a half break but his pass went to ground.