Leigh East 24-20 Featherstone Lions – Match Report

Leigh East moved level with Featherstone Lions in second place after their 24-20 victory over the Yorkshire side.

East managed to hold off a late surge of pressure from the visitors. Even with this result both sides still trail undefeated pace setters Millom who are atop the Division Two table by four points.

Martin Roden, Kori Barber, Jacob Sinclair and Josh Adu-Dwuuma all got on the scoresheet and helped the home side avenge recent defeats to Millom and Oldham St Annes.

It was Adu-Dwuuma’s late try which snatched victory for Leigh East after Featherstone had established a small lead for the first time in the match.

Featherstone scored three unanswered tries to pull in front after being 18-6 down. Dean Gamble, Reece Dyas and Brendan Gibbins managed to get the Lions back into the game after Josh Hardcastle’s try had leveled the match early on.

The home side were the first to score. Half-back Adam Holland put Curt Littlewood straight through a gap in the Lions defence. Littlewood found Roden who went under the sticks to get the game up and running.

Featherstone would soon reply however when Gibbins broke through the line on the back of a well executed attacking play. The quick hands eventually found their way to Hardcastle who powered over the final defender and planted the ball down.

This didn’t phase the hosts as they continued to build pressure on the Lions line which culminated in Barber’s try. Danny Grainey popped the ball up perfectly for the Australian forward to take and dive over.

Fellow Aussie Sinclair would be the next to get over for the home side. He battled through the Featherstone defence and went over in similar fashion to Barber.

Featherstone did pull a try back on the stroke of half time through Gamble. The Lions centre hit a short ball and forced his way through the East defence on the blind side. However the conversion attempt was unsuccessful meaning Leigh East went into the break 18-10 in front.

The away side began the second forty as they finished the first. They continued to throw the ball around as they had all day and it proved dividend when Dyas managed to stay in the field of play and get the Lions back within touching distance.

Featherstone carried on imposing themselves on the Leigh East line and finally got themselves in front ten minutes from time. A high kick came down under the sticks which Gibbins took well and scored with ease.

It looked as though the game was wrapped up for the Yorkshire side but East managed to show some fighting spirit of their own. The ball came out wide and eventually ended up in the hands of Adu-Dwuuma whose pace allowed him to step inside and crash over to give his side the victory.

In the end the game down to two extra conversions from Leigh East goalkicker Holland who had a perfect four from four record with the boot. In comparison with Ian Jackson’s two from four for the Lions.

Both sides will continue their battle for second place and their pursuit of Millom in a fortnights time. Leigh East visit mid table Stanley Rangers whilst Featherstone host Dewsbury Celtic.

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