Wids put the skids under Leigh.
Last minute, converted, try snatches victory.
Leigh welcomed their long time friends and adversaries, Widnes, to a very wet Hand Lane yesterday and unfortunately came off second best in a hard fought encounter.
The first half an hour was nip and tuck with neither side pulling their punches but it was Widnes who got the first points on the board with two penalties, in quick succession.
Leigh rallied following this and a period of constant pressure near to the Widnes line set up an attacking scrum for them to launch an attack. From this scrum, No. 8, Andy Newton, managed to pick up the ball to spin and barge his way over the Widnes line for a well taken try, which was duly converted, by the trusty boot of Rob Drake, to take Leigh off at the break leading by seven points to six.
Two well struck penalties by Rob Drake, after the break, extended Leigh’s lead but a sustained period of Widnes pressure brought the scores level when their big Centre crashed through several ‘would be’ Leigh defenders to dot the ball down under the Leigh sticks for a converted try. 13 – 13.
Leigh went back down the field and retook the lead, through another Rob Drake penalty, in the seventieth minute and all the home supporters thought that they had just about done enough to claim the victory but Widnes were not convinced and stormed back at Leigh, in the final ten minutes, to set up a pulsating finale.
Their persistence was rewarded with several scrums near to the Leigh line and Leigh repelled them on three occasions with their resolute defence but in the final play of the game, Widnes gave it their all and managed to drive over the Leigh line for the match clinching try, which they converted, to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Final score Leigh 16 Widnes 20.
This was a good, old-fashioned tussle between two old adversaries and the camaraderie after the game was as good as it’s always been. Congratulations to Widnes for their victory and well done to the Leigh lads for making them fight for every point.
Man of the Match for Leigh was their Captain, Ross Shepherd, who tackled his heart out.
Next week is a free week but then Leigh entertain fourth placed, Bowdon, at Hand Lane on 17th February K.O. 2.15 p.m.