NCL: Leigh East 12 Waterhead 28
LEIGH EAST 12
Leigh East slipped to their eleventh defeat of the season following a bruising encounter against Waterhead. The visitors scored five tries, three of which came in a second-half which they controlled from the 49th minute. A strong start from Waterhead saw them 10-0 up after 12 minutes with early scores from Dale Lowe and Regan Garforth and the first of four goals from young halfback Jenson Hamilton.
Zac Nicholls and Terry Fitzgerald were then sinbinned for both sides as East fought back, Nicholls having earlier been held up over the line.
East responded after 21 minutes when Danny Griffiths sliced over wide out but the hosts then had to be content with a penalty goal from teenage halfback Kieron Wilkinson on half-time, having lost Adam Holland to injury.
More changes had to be made in the East ranks with Ben Sims limping off just a couple of minutes into the new half. Waterhead stretched their advantage with an early score from Ryan Bradbury. He then went through the middle to add his second on 64 minutes and man-of-the-match Kieron Dean made the game safe with the visitors final try ten minutes from time, strolling in from a tap penalty.
Brad Roden made a good number of carries but was sinbinned eight minutes from time for a foul. Trailing 28-6, East claimed a consolation through Jake Beaumont after a measured chip to the corner by Chris Penn was fumbled and Wilkinson added his second goal, before a brawl in the final minute saw Nicholls and Andrew Gregson shown red for Leigh East and Sean Garratt and Garforth dismissed for the visitors, bringing a close to the game.
Wilkinson, Will Ludlow, Griffiths and Connor Grainey were Eastsbest but they must now regroup heading into the final stretch of the season.