Sunday 24th September 2017.
Lancashire Cup Group A.
Preston Grasshoppers 17 v Leigh U15's 29
Leigh Dragons U15's travelled back to the 1980's to take on Preston in the second round of the cup.
It was a mixed start to the day for two of the coaching staff. Big John Taylor looked dishevelled on arrival after being accompanied on the journey to the ground by Shandy senior and Shandy junior, the latter sporting a yellow and black wig and matching tutu.
On the other hand Gaz Monny arrived in his stretch limo at his old stomping ground. After strolling through the VIP entrance he walked to the bar area sporting two of Andy Evans's carpets under his arms, high fiving his fans and posing for photographs under his name engraved over the bar.
The game itself was expected to be a close affair with Preston's style of play of keeping it tight meaning long periods of stalemate were to be expected.
Leigh's 15 heroes from the previous week were given the task of starting the game once more meaning Leigh's substitute bench was probably the strongest ever seen at this level.
The team started well, running hard and showing vast improvement in the ruck and marching PGH downfield with ease, only the final pass going astray stopping the first try coming.
The momentum swung on the back of some dubious decisions from the referee and PGH kicked and mauled their way up field to score. 5-0
Leigh kicked off and stepped up the pressure, battering into the opposition. From a great shift left, barnstorming centre Danny E crashed over. Jack M again demonstrating his much improved goal kicking with a conversion from out wide. 5-7
Leigh were now rampant, only last ditch defending keeping them at bay. It wasn't long before Leigh again moved the ball left deep in their own half and found Jack T in space. There was to be only one outcome and despite the full backs best efforts he touched down out wide for a superb score. Unfortunately a serious injury to a Preston player brought an end to the half early with Leigh leading 5-12.
The game was moved to another pitch for the second half but Leigh continued to dominate. The forwards were quick to the breakdown and won numerous turnovers, giving the backs plenty ball. But the next score came from a burst through the middle from the magnificent Ben C, and after being brought down yards short of the line an outstanding offload to the supporting Leon M gave Leigh a great score. Jack M slotting 5-19.
Preston wouldn't go away though and hit back through their forwards after being camped on Leigh's line for what felt like an eternity. 10-19.
This seemed to give Leigh a further boost and they tore into PGH with all they had and it wasn't long before they extended their lead. After yet another excellent shift play to the left Crusher Cleary stormed down the flank to dive in the corner, the added bonus being he didn't injury any of his own team mates.10-24.
Leigh were now in total control and a carbon copy move saw Danny E go on the rampage and smash over in the left corner again. 10-29.
With the game done Leigh went into cruise control and kept things tight. Preston tried hard and managed to have the final say in the game with another crash over try following numerous penalties and phases of play on the Leigh line. 17-29 final score.
A great result for the boys. 2 from 2 in the cup to top Group A and 4 from 4 for the season so far. The hard work is paying dividends but we need to keep improving as the season moves on.
Special mentions for the unstoppable Danny E, Tyler B slotting nicely into the second row and Dan T, Joe M and Ben C who are without doubt the best back 3 in the competition.
Special thanks to Gaz for allowing us to breathe the same air as him and for being our friend.
Heaton Moor next week, keep it up lads.