27 Feb 2022 in News
LEIGH EAST 30 HINDLEY 10
By Dave Parkinson
Leigh East retained the John Lewis Trophy after defeating Hindley by five tries to two at Ledgard Avenue.
It was the first time since 2020 that the trophy had been contested and initially Hindley looked in good touch, with East being forced to defend their line several times. Wing Fawaz Oderinde, and halfbacks Chris Scarborough and Conor Ward all posed questions for the home defence with Joe Heaton also scheming from hooker.
East scored from their first meaningful attack in the tenth minute when Chris Hamer and Jay Boyd brought Ben Mercer onto the ball and his sleight of hand near the line brought a try at the side of the posts for Ryan Holcroft. Boyd kicked the first of his five-goal haul and East led 6-0.
There continued to be little between the sides before East grabbed a second try just before the half-hour mark. This time Boyd dummied to Cam Clark before shooting through a hole in the defence from close range. Once more the kick was good and it was 12-0.
Leigh East were in control of the last ten minutes of the half and were perhaps unlucky to only put one more try on the board. It was worth the wait as Boyd went right for Kieron Prescott and Ben Wharton to combine to get Aaron Noon one-on-one with fullback Jake Alder and the winger finished at the corner. Again Boyd was imperious with the boot and the hosts led 18-0 at half-time.
Two tries at the start of the second half ensured East kept the game under control. Prescott was at his best in the 42nd minute zipping to the line after a quick step wrongfooted the cover from 25 metres.
The East fullback has troubled defences aplenty over the last couple of years and was on hand to take the scoring pass three minutes later after Boyd combined with Danny Richardson inside his own half and the winger motored away before finding Prescott on the inside. Boyd's fifth goal had the hosts in an unassailable 30-0 lead.
With the game all but won, the hosts became a little scrappy and Hindley's effort was rewarded with two tries. First substitute Ben Foskett dotted down under the posts after a nice grubber kick from Joe Heaton, then a good chase on a long kick brought haste from Noon and as he tried to return to the field of play, his intended offload trickled in the in-goal area and Conor Ward was there to punish the error. Heaton kicked the resulting conversion and the visitors had their consolation, while East celebrated victory.
East now host Shaw Cross Sharks at Ledgard Avenue on Saturday 5th March, 2:30pm, as the National Conference League starts.