NCL: Leigh East 20 Crosfields 40
There was a sense of deja-vu on Saturday as Leigh East looked well capable of picking up victory before three late tries tipped the scales in favour of promotion chasing Crosfields. A much changed Leigh East had three players on debut with each showing promise. Alex Leadbetter played full-back, Jordan Hutchison came into the second row and Ryan Green was a lively replacement.
East made a superb start with Zac Nicholls forcing his war over after a couple of minutes. Leadbetter slotted over the conversion and the hosts led 6-0.
Crosfields came back with a quick fire try from prop forward Tom Brown and the impressive Jack Reid goaled.
The Warrington side pushed forward again moments later but a timely interception saw Nathan Gaskell race to the opposite corner. It was a thrilling score for Gaskell, who finished with two tries to his name. Despite Leadbetter missing the kick, East were back in front, 10-6.
The lead lasted six minutes and Crosfield claimed a two minute double try salvo from John Whittaker and William Sheen with Jack Reid adding his second goal to make it 10-16 in the 22nd minute. Both teams had further chances and there were some excellent efforts from the likes of Jamie Waters, Nicholls and Adam Wilkes.
Despite much effort in between concert sound checks, the scoreline remained the same until ten minutes after half-time when Jordan Hutchison scored from close range with Ben Balmer adding the extras. East saw a Daniel Griffiths try disallowed that would really have boosted them and and Crosfields scored on the hour with Reid slipping through for a self converted try.
Tom Millington also crossed eight minutes later with Reid adding his fourth goal to move the visitors twelve points clear. This seemed a telling blow. Reid put the result beyond doubt after 73 minutes although East rallied with Gaskell going in for his second try of the game. There was one more twist, literally when Matty Barber got through and Reid knocked over his sixth goal to secure a twenty point haul and complete Crosfield's 40-20 win.