Wakefield 28 – 24 Leigh

Leigh Centurions suffered a second half fade out at the Beaumont Legal Stadium as their hopes of a first away win in the top flight for 23 years disappeared.

The Centurions held a commanding 24-12 lead at the interval but Trinity mounted a stirring second half comeback and snatched the win with a controversial Ben Jones-Bishop try 14 minutes from the end.

The Wakefield winger appeared to ground the ball short of the line- certainly in the view of the Leigh contingent perched on the fourth floor of the hospitality block immediately above the incident.

But referee Chris Campbell gave an on-field try which was confirmed by the video referee.

The Centurions badly missed the influence of halfback Josh Drinkwater who suffered a knee injury in the second half.

Leigh Centurions Head Coach Neil Jukes cancelled his players’ weekend off after the defeat. He said: “I’m just really disappointed with our second-half performance. We were like chalk and cheese.

“For 40 minutes we were on fire and, if we’d have had a half-decent second half, I’d have thought fair play but we were garbage in the second half.

“We lost Drinkwater but that’s no excuse for trying to cling onto a 12-point lead. I’d like to have given the guys a long weekend off and kick-on on Monday for the Widnes game but we’ll be in tomorrow and we’ll fix it up. We’ve got to find that away form.”

Wakefield Trinity Head Coach Chris Chester said: “It was a tale of two halves. We looked in control after 23 or 24 minutes but then came up with a poor play and we struggled to contain them.

“But I’m pleased with the way we stuck at it and I thought we were worthy winners. We were a totally different team in the second half, very dominant, I thought we got back to where we were a couple of weeks ago.

“Physically we were a lot better tonight, we tightened everything up. We needed a bigger presence in the middle because we knew that’s where Leigh would come.

“I’m proud we got the two points but we’re certainly not getting carried away.”

After Ben Reynolds cut through for the first of four converted first half tries after great approach play by Gareth Hock and Danny Tickle the visitors had played with attacking confidence.

Though Trinity responded with quick-fire tries by Joe Arundel and Scott Grix to lead 12-6, the Centurions responded with three tries in an inspired 11-minute spell.

Micky Higham dummied over from dummy half, Sam Hopkins blasted his way through and Ben Crooks finished off a flowing move as the Centurions took a seemingly commanding lead into the break.

But Trinity dominated the second half and Tom Johnstone showed brilliant footwork to score before Matty Dawson had a try chalked off for a forward pass in the corner for the Centurions. Jacob Miller’s try got Trinity level by the hour-mark before Jones-Bishop’s decisive score from Sam Williams’ high kick to the corner, the 100th try of his career.

Wakefield Trinity: Scott Grix; Ben Jones-Bishop, Joe Arundel, Bill Tipou, Tom Johnstone; Sam Williams, Liam Finn; Mitch Allgood, Dean Hadley, David Fifita, Matty Ashurst, Danny Kirmond (Capt), Tinirau Arona.
Interchange: Keegan Hirst, Craig Huby, Kyle Wood, Jacob Miller.

Tries: Arundel (18), Grix (21), Johnstone (48), Miller (59), Jones-Bishop (66).
Goals: Williams 4/ 5.

Leigh Centurions: Ryan Hampshire; Adam Higson, Ben Crooks, Mitch Brown, Matty Dawson; Ben Reynolds, Josh Drinkwater; Gareth Hock, Micky Higham (Capt), Jamie Acton, Danny Tickle, Atelea Vea, Harrison Hansen.
Interchange: Eloi Pelissier, James Green, Sam Hopkins, Lachlan Burr.

Tries: Reynolds (5), Higham (24), Hopkins (30), Crooks (34).
Goals: Reynolds 4/ 4.

Referee: Chris Campbell;
Attendance: 4,592;
Half-time: 12-24.

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