02 Mar 2020 in News
SALFORD CITY ROOSTERS 26
LEIGH EAST 20
Salford City Roosters held on for victory to end East's interest in the cup, but triumphed only after a tremendous second-half fightback from the visitors.
Paul Morgan opened the scoring for the hosts, skipping across the defence before straightening up and forcing his way over. New half-back Kieron Lewis doubled the Roosters advantage after 23 minutes, collecting Chris Penn's kick before searing 70 metres to the other end. Lewis converted to make it 10-0 and the hosts celebrated again five minutes later when centre Damola Anyanlaja galloped in and Lewis was again on song with the boot.
Playing with a strong breeze in the first half, East struggled to impose themselves until the 35th minute when James Ball grounded a cross field kick from Penn and goaled to make it 16-6.
It remained that score to half-time and the Roosters must have thought they were in for an easy ride when five minutes into the new half some good support led to fullback Andrew Muscat forcing his way over under the posts. Lewis added his third goal to make it 22-6. Cue the Leigh East fightback and stirring it was in the face of the breeze. First Lee Causey grounded a superb kick to the corner after 49 minutes.
Confidence seared through East's veins and they threatened an upset, continually forcing the hosts into errors. Eventually, East were able to take advantage when Bernard Aboagye hulked over from dummy half and Ball converted to close the gap to 22-16.
Just as things were looking promising, a dropped ball saw Salford City Roosters pick up and move play quickly left where big centre Anyanlaja skirted around the defence and into the corner to make it 26-16 to the hosts.
East kept going right to the end, and claimed a try with just over a minute remaining when Chris Dootson used all his strength to go over in the corner despite the attentions of three defenders.