LONG-time leaders Bury Broncos slipped to fourth place in Division Two of the North West Men's League after suffering a third defeat in four matches.

Leigh Miners Rangers went above Broncos in the table, moving into second on points difference, after beating them 44-12 at home on Saturday.

Broncos are also level on 16 points with third-placed Pilkington Recs A and only one point behind table toppers Halton Farnworth Hornets.

They have, however. played more games than their title rivals, and coach Dave Kelly's focus now seems to have switched to securing a place in the top four to qualify for the play-offs.

But he has warned his players that they have to improve their level of performance if they are to stand a chance of promotion.

“The team are still on track for a top four finish," he said.

"We have two home games coming up, but there is a lot of work to do at training if we are to make an impact in the play-offs."

Broncos started well against Miners but dropped off in the second half.

They completed their first five sets then opened the scoring when a good ball from Richard West put winger Ryan Latham in at the corner.

His effort was brilliantly goaled by Blake Roberts and the Broncos continued to dominate, with the forwards taking the game to Leigh.

Roberts was only denied a second Broncos try by a wicked bounce following a chip and chase.

Unfortunately, mistakes began to creep in and Leigh scored two tries, one right on the stroke of half time, to go in at the break 10-6 up.

The second half was a very different affair. Leigh scored first and a failure to complete cost the Broncos dear.

A second half completion rate of two from 15 sets meant the team did little else but tackle.

It became a procession of Leigh tries, broken only by a good score from Roberts following good hands from West and Latham.

Despite defeat, there was no lack of effort from the Broncos, but no side can expect to finish so few sets and expect to win.

The club's younger sides fared much better at the weekend.

Broncos B – their third team – pulled off a 24-16 victory at Aspull New Springs.

Rob Russell opened the scoring after an interception and Chris Read converted the try.

Just six minutes later, the Broncos were over the line again when Rick Brogan broke through for an unconverted try, but Aspull made it 10-4 just before the break.

Chris Lynch extended the visitors' lead after a barn-storming 80-metre run after the break.

A score each made it 20-10 before 16-year-old Garry Kabamba brushed aside two Aspull defenders to dive over for a converted try on his debut.

Aspull were awarded a penalty try after dissent from Rob Russell but Broncos held on for victory.

And the under-13s kept their winning run going with a hard-fought 40-20 victory at home to Westhoughton Lions.