Report: Sheffield Eagles 30 Leigh Centurions 34

editorial image

The Eagles came within seconds of claiming the scalp of table toppers Leigh Centurions before a last-gasp try from the Lancastrians broke their hearts.

With their impressive victory at London Broncos fresh in the memory, the Eagles were quick out of the blocks andbroke the deadlock when Cory Aston’s perfectly-weighted grubber kick was inch-perfect for Menzie Yere, who touched down smartly.

In a rare early foray by the Centurions, Greg McNally crossed the whitewash.

However, the Eagles were quickly back on the offensive and they stunned the visitors with back-to-back scores.

Firstly, Duane Straugheir powered his way to the line from point-blank range before Steve Thorpe provided the assist as Scott Wheeldon went under the posts, giving Aston a simple conversion.

The Eagles looked in charge before Leigh stepped on the gas to turn the game on it’s head in the last ten minutes of the half.

Fast hands involving Martyn Ridyard and McNally presented Tom Armstrong with the chance of waltzing to the line before Ridyard bundled his way to the whitewash.

On the stroke of the hooter, Leigh took an undeserved first-half lead when Ridyard planted a penalty between the sticks after Mark Mexico was penalised.

With the words of Mark Aston ringing in their ears, Sheffield regained the lead early in the second half when superb hands involving Quentin Laulu Togagae and Keal Carlile saw Nathan Chappell sneak in at the corner before Aston planted a superb touchline conversion.

However, Sheffield’s joy proved short-lived as Leigh levelled the scores. Andrew Dixon scurried under an Eagles challenge to go over.

Both sides traded blows when Aston’s kick on the last was gathered by Dixon, who broke clear and found Eze Harper, who raced away.

But Yere put the game back on a knife-edge with a barnstorming run following Laulu Togagae’s pass.

With the game in the balance, Aston looked to have won the game for the Eagles with a two-pointer but Leigh snatched victory in the dying seconds when Gareth Hock powered his way over.

Eagles: Laulu Togagae, Lo, Yere, Chappell, Blackmore, Robin, Aston, Thorpe, Carlile, Wheeldon, James, Straugheir, Margalet. Interchange: Fozard, Neal, Mexico, Knowles.

Scorers: Tries: Yere (4, 66), Straugheir (17), Wheeldon (21), Chappell (52) Goals: Aston 5/6

Leigh: McNally, Harper, Smith, Armstrong, Kay, Ridyard, Burns, Spencer, Hood, Hopkins, Dixon, Maitua, Hansen. Interchange: Reynolds, Hock, Fash, Moimoi

Scorers: Tries: McNally (13), Armstrong (31), Ridyard (35), Dixon (56), Harper (64), Hock (79) Goals: Ridyard 5/7

Referee: Callum Straw

Attendance: 774