08 Apr 2018 in News
Match Report by Dave Parkinson
Luckless Leigh East went down to another battling defeat at Wigan St Judes.
East played well for much of the contest despite conceding a lot in weight and size to St Judes.
Heavy rain brought sodden conditions underfoot and the pitch at Parsons Meadow had to pass an inspection.
East were forced to shuffle their pack when Tom Worthington dropped out - Eddie Rainford coming into the second row with Pat Rainford moving onto the bench and things got more difficult as they lost player coach Martin Roden, centre Danny Griffiths, fullback Ryan Gray and substitute Joe Connor in the second half.
Before then East played a high tempo game, keeping their big opponents pinned inside their own half, and tackled with speed, vigour and controlled aggression.
It was scoreless until the 27th minute when a pin point kick for the corner by Adam Holland saw Josh Swift outjump home wing Barry Rothwell and ground in the corner. Jordan Hellam converted brilliantly from the touchline and East deservedly led 6-0.
Judes were visibly shaken and continued to struggle against an eager defensive line while Louis Else and Adam Wilkes played long stints in the front row. Finally that toil and defensive work was rewarded when a loose pass to the back field was twice kicked on by David Griffiths for Danny Griffiths to ground for a try. Hellam was once again on song with the boot and East led 12-0 at half-time.
Wigan St Judes had the perfect start to the second half, sweeping down the short side for Ash Marshall to score in the corner. That went unconverted and East returned to their plan of frustrating Judes inside thir own half. It worked and Hellam converted a penalty in front of the sticks to make it 14-4 to the visitors.
Judes were right back in the contest and three tries in six minutes had them in front for the first time. It all started when a seemingly harmless kick for the posts by Gary McMahon saw him pounce for a converted try, Ben Fisher nudging over the goal.
Next Dave Fagan forced his way over the line from close range to level. Then just over the hour a spectacular dummy half scoot by Nathan Bevan saw the Lancashire man beat eight players to the line. The goal from McMahon made it 20-14 and the game was made safe for the hosts when ten minutes from time Rothwell wriggled past Swift out wide.
Leigh East continued to battle on with Cameron Coulton impressing alongside substitutes Harvey Massey and James Noon, but it was Judes that celebrated at the final whistle, winning 24-14.