WIGAN ST JUDES 26
LEIGH EAST 8
By Dave Parkinson.
For 50 minutes everything was going to plan for Leigh East.
They had defended stoutly and attacked with patient intent, scoring two tries to lead 8-0. However as rain swept through Parsons Meadow it all changed.
Early on, East benefited from a number of penalties but good defence from the hosts kept them at bay. At the other end some great communication saw Darrion Ball tackled into touch by Jake Beaumont and Josh Adudwumaa and for a long while, despite the short kicking of Adam Holland and Tom Worthington forcing drop out after drop out it looked like the half would finish scoreless.
Finally there was breakthrough five minutes from the end of the half as Leigh East came down the left and a strong run and offload by Sam Grainey found Beaumont via a defenders hand and he scored. Worthington couldn't goal but East could be well pleased with the 4-0 advantage.
Five minutes into the new half it got better. Great defence from the visitors forced an error and from a scrum ten metres from their own line, East found Adudwumaa. He proved too strong for home fullback Nathan Jones, breaking his tackle before racing 90 metres for a try at the other end. Again it went unconverted but East led 8-0.
Wigan St Judes finally came into it on the back of a couple of errors and big second row Gavin Rodden opened their account with an unconverted try. Still leading 8-4, East defended their line superbly before Nathan Gaskell was adjudged to have played the ball off the mark. Judes didn't look back. From their next set a brave charge for the line rewarded Olumide Oladele with a try and Rob Collier goaled to make it 10-8.
Penalties crept into the Leigh East ranks and the visitors were marched back with the home pack taking control. A lovely chip from Collier created a third try for Judes with Ball touching down in the corner while another penalty saw Collier goal and make it 16-8.
In the last few minutes East tried to move the ball but a mistake was snapped up by home scrum half Barry Rothwell and he scampered away to finish. There was one final try for the hosts when Paul Pendlebury passed to Rothwell in space and he cleverly drew Chris Penn before offloading for Pendlebury to finish. Collier added his third and final goal of the day to bring up the final score 26-8.
It was another big effort from Leigh East with good performances from Adudwumaa, James Parkinson on debut, Holland, Adam Wilkes, Pat Rainford and Jamie Waters with Ryan Hughes also impressing at loose forward but ultimately penalties proved costly and Judes bossed the last half hour.
The loss, East's eighth of the season keeps them 9th, just ahead of Millom, Drighlington and next opponents Salford City Roosters.
Judes: Nathan Jones, Darrion Ball, Connor Parkinson, Adam Lavin, Joey Brady; Rob Collier, Barry Rothwell; Olumide Oladele, Nathan Bevan, Tom Owen, Paul Pendlebury, Gavin Rodden, David Fagan. Subs: Tye Forde, Luke Barrett, Keiron Gaskell, Jason Holland.
Tries: Rodden, Oladele, Ball, Rothwell, Pendlebury.
Goals: Collier 3/6.
East: Chris Penn, Josh Adudwumaa, Nathan Gaskell, Jake Beaumont, James Parkinson; Adam Holland, Tom Worthington, Adam Wilkes, Pat Rainford, Jamie Waters, Sam Grainey, Tom Fletcher, Ryan Hughes. Subs: Ryan Holcroft, Daniel Drury, Andrew Raines, Connor Johnson.
Tries: Beaumont, Adudwumaa.
Goals: Worthington 0/2.