Lock Lane clinch return to top-flight

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CASTLEFORD Lock Lane sealed promotion to the National Conference League Premier Division for the first time in eight years in dramatic fashion with a spectacular late try in a 26-16 win at Milford Marlins.

They went ahead after eight minutes when an inside pass from Mark Spears (pictured) sent in Scott Horner and Danny Rowse converted.

Milford hit back five minutes later but Lane led 12-6 after Craig Duncan made a great break inside his own half from the play the ball to score and Rowse again goaled.

Milford replied with an unconverted try but two minutes before the break Spears and Horner linked to send in substitute Wayne Hardy. Rowse added the extras and kicked a penalty to make 20-10 at halftime.

Lane’s attack never really got going in the second period. Too many unforced errors and high risk attacking options stifled their play. Milford, aided by some generous refereeing decisions, dominated territory but were largely blunted by Lane’s defence.

Milford cut the gap to four points but Lane’s defence became more solid as the game wore on with centre Nicky Saxton making a superb tackle.

With two minutes left, Milford were awarded a penalty close to the try line and put in a kick early in the tackle count. The ball bounced off Lane’s crossbar into the arms of Lane prop Joe Groves who beat five defenders in magnificent 95-yard run to score a remarkable try that Rowse goaled to complete the scoring.

Spears won the MOM award, followed by Rob Firth, Horner, Rowse, Groves and Tom Wood.