Sat 18 Mar 2017 | National Conference League Division 2 | Home
LEIGH EAST 6
By Dave Parkinson
Leigh East's agonising start to the season continued as newly promoted Crosfields made the most of their chances to claim victory. The game was marred by a second stoppage in as many games for serious injury. Skipper Dean Balmer was the injured party, both dislocating an ankle and breaking a leg.
The incident happened in the 31st minute, with Crosfields already holding a 6-0 advantage. Outstanding halfback Jack Reid kicked downfield and quick reactions by centre Nathan Taylor saw him grab a try. Reid added the first of six successful goals but the half remained close. Jamie Waters, Phil Bickerstaff and Lee Wingfield got through a ton of work in the first quarter. Josh Adudwuuma was also an effective runner with along with Brian Kamhiriri and Ben Parry at fullback.
Crosfields had good performers in Scott Cullen, Chris Dean and Joe Clarke while Ash Cornelia was solid at the back.
East were pressing on Crosfields line when Balmer was injured and the game was stopped for 40 minutes while an ambulance was called for.
Eventually the game got back underway and East continued to enjoy territory before quick play down the left saw Chris Hull break and Dean was in support to go over. Reid converted and East faced a 12-0 deficit at half-time.
Three minutes into the second half that became 14-0 when Reid potted a penalty and East had a couple of opportunities in Crosfields 20 without taking advantage. First Adudwuuma couldn't take a dipping pass after 49 minutes before being held up over the line five minutes later.
Worthington then dabbed a kick to the posts but East were penalised for offside. Billy Bishop was then sinbinned and Crosfields made their numerical advantage count, posting two tries. The first went the way of Clarke before Cornelia made the most of crisp distribution to then dart through. Two conversions made it 26-0 before East finally found a way to the line with seven minutes left.
It came off the back of a drop out and solid drive on the left before Parry picked his way through from thirty metres after moving into dummy half. Tom Worthington added the goal but the final word was with the visitors when Reid kicked a 77th minute penalty.