Leigh took to the field yesterday against Bolton without two of their regulars, Jimmy Wilkinson and Osian Griffiths, who had gone down to Twickenham but Alex Owens and veteran David Wood were drafted into the squad to replace them.
Bolton were soon in front with a penalty, after three minutes, following a ‘no arms tackle’ by a Leigh defender, which earned him a yellow card for his indiscretion. Thankfully, Bolton did not manage to add to their tally during his absence from the pitch.
Rob Drake stepped up to slot a penalty, against a stormy wind in the tenth minute, to level the scores.
The next twenty minutes saw the two sides giving it their all, with neither side taking a backward step but it was Bolton who eventually broke the deadlock, just before half time, when they crashed over for two unconverted tries to take the sides off at the break with Bolton leading by thirteen points to three.
Leigh came out strongly in the second half with the breeze at their backs and it didn’t take long for them to score, which they did when veteran, David Penn, forced his way over the line following several phases close to the Bolton posts. Rob Drake added the conversion to narrow the deficit.
The scores were level three minutes later when Rob Drake punched over another penalty but Leigh took the lead twenty minutes later when Rob added his third penalty of the match to put Leigh three points in front with fifteen minutes to go.
This final period saw both sides attacking and defending with all their might but it was Leigh who eventually emerged victorious by sixteen points to thirteen.
Next week Leigh travel away to face 9th placed De La Salle (Salford) who they beat 41 – 18 at Leigh earlier in the season. They will not be expecting an easy ride in this return fixture.