ST HELENS 16 LEIGH CENTURIONS 6

Leigh Centurions put in a promising display against neighbours St Helens in Alex Walmsley’s Testimonial game on a cold night.

Playing in their newly designed away kit, Leigh Centurions took the field with eight players pulling on the jersey for the first time with another six on the bench.

Ben Reynolds kicked the game off and Saints won an early penalty for offside.

Alex Walmsley made one of his customary breaks but Tom Amone tackled him well around his ankles and brought him down.

Caleb Aekins caught the ball behind his own line from a kick through and raced to the restart, took a quick tap and off he went making some valuable metres.

Ben Reynolds and Nene Macdonald were involved in a great attacking move and on the fifth tackle Joe Mellor chipped through causing Saints to have to kick the ball dead for a drop out.

Leigh Centurions were enjoying a good attacking spell and Ben Reynolds was instrumental in several of the attacking moves.

Jacob Jones was introduced as the first replacement for Tom Amone after 15 minutes.

The training drills installed by Adrian Lam and Tony Clubb were working well as all the players were defending well and covering all the Saints threats.

Nene Macdonald made his presence felt on more than one occasion with his hard hitting defence which was applauded by the travelling fans.

Chris Green put in a big hit on Ben Davies but the referee saw it as a shoulder charge and penalised him which was an odd decision.

Joe Mellor was targeted on more than one occasion when he was hit after he had cleared the ball upfield.

Ata Hingano, Tom Amone and Ed Chamberlain replaced Aaron Smith, Joe Wardle and Adam Sidlow mid-way through the half.

The Leigh Centurions defence was severely tested on 24 minutes with a penalty conceded under their own sticks but the defence was superb and saw off the Saints threat.

Newly arrived John Asiata was introduced to the action and Leigh mounted an assault on the Saints line. Referee Smith penalised the Leigh defence for dragging a Saints player into the in goal area which was not well received by the fans.

The Leigh line was finally breached when Tommy Makinson went in at the corner from an overlap on the Leigh right hand side. Lewis Dodd’s conversion attempt was well short. 4-0.

After the try Kieran Dixon was introduced to the action as a replacement for Jy Hitchcox who hobbled off with a leg injury.

Half Time      St Helens 4 Leigh Centurions 0

Luis Roberts replaced Keanan Brand after the break.

Saints increased their lead two minutes into the second half when Josh Simm finished off a flowing move despite Tom Nisbet’s best efforts to force him into touch. Lewis Dodd’s left footed conversion from the touch line was well judged and Saints led 10-0

On 51 minutes Leigh thought they had scored when Kieran Dixon went in at the corner but the touch judge raised his flag as Kieran had been forced into touch by Tommy Makinson.

Leigh stepped up their game and pushed Saints back into their own 20 metre zone but couldn’t force their way over the line. After absorbing more Saints pressure, Leigh stepped it up again and were so close to scoring when Luis Roberts was tackled just short of the line.

On 66 minutes all the hard work paid off when Leigh Centurions broke the line and Joe Wardle crashed over for a well deserved try. Ben Reynolds converted easily and it was game on for the last 13 minutes at 10-6.

On 71 minutes Jacob Jones broke clear but the move broke down when his pass went astray.

On 77 minutes former Centurion James Bell forced his way over and the conversion was taken by Testimonial Man Alex Walmsley who slotted the ball over, 16-6

Leigh finished the game on the attack and had taken part in an excellent game and a very useful pointer for the season ahead.

 

Leigh Centurions     Caleb Aekins, Jy Hitchcox, Keanan Brand, Nene Macdonald, Tom Nisbet, Ben Reynolds, Joe Mellor, Adam Sidlow, Aaron Smith, Chris Green, Joe Wardle, Sam Stone, Tom Amone

Bench   Ata Hingano, Ed Chamberlain, Jacob Jones, John Asiata, Luis Roberts, Kieran Dixon, Mark Ioane

 

Match Referee  Jack Smith

 

Scoring Sequence (St Helens first as home club) 4-0, 8-0, 10-0, 10-4, 10-6, 14-6, 16-6,