Leigh 23 – 24 York

York City Knights completed a Betfred Championship double over the Centurions at Leigh Sports Village, again winning by a single point.

After their 9-8 win at Bootham Crescent earlier in the year James Ford’s side edged another thriller to stake their claim for a second-placed finish.

As things stand ahead of next weekend’s final league fixtures second-placed Toulouse have 38pts, York 37, Leigh 36 and Featherstone Rovers, who made sure of their top five place with an emphatic win at Batley have 34pts and a better points- difference than Leigh.

Next weekend Leigh travel to Canada to play runaway leaders Toronto, Toulouse visit Featherstone and York are away at Halifax.

Leigh edged a tight first-half 12-8 with converted tries to debutant Kevin Brown and Liam Hood after York winger Will Oakes had broken the deadlock with a fine try in the corner and halfback Connor Robinson hit two goals.

 The home side went ten points clear after a fine start to the second half thanks to Ryan Brierley’s try but a knock-on from the kick-off gave York the position for fullback Matty Marsh to score. Robinson’s long pass then sent Oakes in at the corner for his second try to level the scores.

Josh Woods restored Leigh’s lead with a drop-goal with 14 minutes remaining before Brad Hey’s break set up a York reply through Liam Harris, Robinson’s fourth goal giving his side a 24-19 advantage.

Leigh staged a grandstand finish, forcing two goal-line drop-outs and eventually breaking through as Liam Forsyth scored in the right corner, but Brierley’s difficult conversion was off-target and York held out.

Leigh Centurions head coach John Duffy said: “I am absolutely gutted. To go 18-8 up and then not shut the game off was very disappointing at this stage of the season. I thought we got beaten by a more hungry and desperate team. Congratulations to them.

 “We knew they wouldn’t go away, we said it all week and they didn’t. We made far too many errors at the beginning of the game. I thought our start to the second half was superb and got us to where we needed to and then we just didn’t close off the game.

“We made too many individual errors. To error after scoring a try is poor and that let them back in the game. Then we go 19-18 up and do the same again. It’s not good enough. We have to look at ourselves this week.

“With the quality we’ve got on that pitch we should be drilling teams away once we go that far in front. We can’t have that mentality going into play-offs or we’ll soon get found out.

 “The great thing about where we are is that we have six days and then we get straight back on that pitch. We’ll make sure we do the right thing when we get back in and we fly out to Toronto on Thursday so we have to turn this around now.

“We’ve got to go there with the right attitude. They’re flying still, even though they’ve won the league and are keeping their momentum going into the play-offs so it’ll be a tough task. I’ve spoken to the lads and we have to make sure we are up to it.

“I’m gutted we didn’t finish that game off for the supporters who’ve been brilliant.”

Leigh Centurions: Ryan Brierley; Mitch Cox, Liam Forsyth, Iain Thornley, Stefan Marsh; Josh Woods, Kevin Brown; Luke Douglas, Micky Higham (capt), Jake Emmitt, Toby Adamson, Jordan Thompson, Joe Cator.
Interchange: Liam Hood, Cory Paterson, Mitch Clark, Luke Adamson.

Tries: Brown (30), Hood (39), Brierley (46), Forsyth (77)
Goals: Brierley 3/ 4
Drop-goal: Woods

York City Knights: Matty Marsh; Matt Chilton, Brad Hey, Jason Bass, Matt Chilton; Liam Harris, Connor Robinson; Jordan Baldwinson, Will Jubb, Graeme Horne, Joe Porter, Sam Scott, Tim Spears.
Interchange: Kriss Brining, Marcus Stock, Jack Blagbrough, Mike Kelly.

Tries: Oakes (19, 57), Marsh (49), Harris (69)
Goals: Robinson 4/ 5

Referee: Marcus Griffiths
Attendance: 3,408
Half-time: 12-8
Penalty count: 7-3

Matchball sponsor: Zaun Group;
Digital programme sponsor: Victaulic.
Matchday mascots: Jacob Plimley, Isaac Plimley, Lexi Plimley.
Leigh Centurions Man of the Match: Josh Woods.

Related posts