Leigh 50 – 10 Wigan

Betfred Super League newcomers Leigh Centurions were emphatic winners of the Battle of the Borough.

Neil Jukes’ side trailed 6-10 after 25 minutes and then scored 44 unanswered points in the last 55 minutes of Micky McIlorum’s testimonial game at LSV.

Cory Paterson led the way with a hat-trick, bringing up the half century with a spectacular diving finish in the corner three minutes from time.

Ben Crooks- one of eight newcomers in the Centurions ranks- scored two tries and French international hooker Eloi Pelissier was Man of the Match.

Pelissier carried off the Arthur Thomas Memorial Trophy just ahead of Ben Reynolds, who scored a try and kicked seven goals from nine attempts.

But Gregg McNally suffered an ankle ligament injury and will go for a scan tomorrow while Adam Higson has a rib cartilage injury.

Betfred Super League Champions Wigan fielded a strong side for the first half but their youngsters were given a harsh lesson in the second.

Leigh Centurions Head Coach Neil Jukes said: “I am not getting carried away but I was very happy with the performance.

“We were ruthless and we will gain a lot of confidence from today.

“To a man all the new guys settled in well and after something like 40 field sessions in pre season it was good to get out there.

“We posted some points when Wigan made changes and defended well when we had to. There was one spell late on when we were put under a lot of pressure and we were very resolute.

“Wigan had a few players missing but they still had a good team out there. We were good as well.”

Crooks got the new season off to a flying start with a 90 metre scoring run after snapping up a loose ball.

But Wigan responded with tries by Thomas Leuluai and Oliver Gildart before Paterson’s first try gave the Centurions the lead at the break.

Crooks snapped up his second try within six minutes of the re-start to set up a one-sided second half.

Further tries by Danny Tickle, Jamie Acton and Paterson’s second took Leigh into a 36-10 lead on the hour-mark, Reynolds kicking six from six.

With the North Stand in full voice the Centurions finished in style with James Clare, Reynolds and Paterson adding further tries in the last quarter.

Leigh Centurions: Ryan Hampshire; Adam Higson, Ben Crooks, Mitch Brown, Matty Dawson; Ben Reynolds, Josh Drinkwater; Gareth Hock, Liam Hood, Antoni Maria, Cory Paterson, Glenn Stewart, Harrison Hansen.

Interchange: Eloi Pelissier, James Green, Jamie Acton, Sam Hopkins, Gregg McNally, Atelea Vea, Danny Tickle, James Clare.

Tries: Crooks (5, 46), Paterson (26, 59, 77), Tickle (51), Acton (56), Clare (64), Reynolds (66);
Goals: Reynolds 7/ 9.

Wigan Warriors: Morgan Escare; Tom Davies, Anthony Gelling, Oliver Gildart, Liam Marshall; George Williams, Thomas Leuluai; Ryan Sutton, Sam Powell, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Connor Farrell, Macauley Davies, Sean O’Loughlin.

Interchange: Jake Shorrocks, Lewis Tierney, Romaine Navarette, Callum Field, Joe Bretherton, Josh Ganson, Liam Forsyth, Josh Woods.

Tries: Leuluai (9), Gildart (12);
Goals: Escare 1/ 2.

Referee: Gareth Hewer.

Attendance: 5,792.

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