19 Feb 2018 in News
Leigh East 18 Hindley 20
By Dave Parkinson
Leigh East opened their 2018 account in the same way that 2017 ended, with defeat.
The traditional pre-season John Lewis Cup clash, pitted East against their North West Mens League Premier Division counterparts Hindley. It was a good game played in excellent spirit with little between the sides.
It was the visitors who made the more positive start, forcing an East error from their first carry. Within 80 seconds, they had claimed their first try when scrum-half Chris Scarborough got over the line from dummy half and nudged home the goal.
The hosts struck back when good play down the right saw Ryan Gray pierce the defence and Jordan Hellam nudged over the first of three goals. East claimed a smart second try after fourteen minutes when Adam Holland kicked left and James Noon palmed back for James Fleming to touch down. This time Hellam couldn't goal but it was only a matter of minutes before East were through again as Holland stormed home for an emphatic finish from thirty metres. Hellam goaled and the hosts should have put the game to bed on the half hour when a brilliant move saw Gray get to the line again but he was forced into an error over the line.
Despite not really being in the half, Hindley crossed for a second try four minutes before half-time when fullback Darren Picton latched onto a long pass on the left to cut through. Scarborough goaled to close the deficit to 16-12 at half-time.
Hindley made the better opening to the new half and a lofted kick caused problems for Josh Adudwumaa. His spillage led to Ryan McKenzie scooping up and going in at the corner.
The second half ebbed and flowed with both sides cancelling each other out as they looked to break the deadlock. Hellam put over a penalty with six minutes to play but East could not hang on and McKenzie claimed his second try with a couple of minutes remaining to see the cup go the way of the visitors.
East are back in action at Ledgard Avenue this Saturday (12.30pm – note the earlier kick off) against Ashton Bears.