Featherstone 16-30 Leigh: Centurions claim 1895 Cup

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Blake Ferguson Leigh Centurions Credit: PA Images
Blake Ferguson Leigh Centurions Credit: PA Images

Leigh Centurions claimed their first ever 1895 Cup with a 30-16 victory over Featherstone at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

In the first of the double header in London, Adrian Lam’s side scored five tries to lift the trophy in the third-ever final.

Match report

Morgan Smith partnered Ryley Jacks in the halves, while Matthew Wildie started at hooker. Johnathon Ford featured from the bench.

For Leigh, Blake Ferguson made his second appearance named on the wing alongside Ed Chamberlain. Championship-leading try scorer Nene Macdonald partnered Krisnan Inu on the left side. 

Featherstone opened the scoring thanks to Craig Hall’s boot, converting a penalty for an early 2-0 lead. 

On the wing, Inu scored the first try of the final on eight minutes. He jumped highest to collect a Ben Reynolds kick and power his way over in the corner despite efforts from Joey Leilua. The former Super League man converting his own try for a 6-2 lead. 

Rovers hit back two minutes later through Hall on the wing. Mark Kheirallah providing the assist to send over the former Leigh player. Hall converting to give his side a 8-6 advantage. 

Hall extended the lead to 10-6 on the 21 minute mark with another penalty conversion.

On 28 minutes, Reynolds found a gap in the Rovers defence to slide over and Inu gave his side the lead from the boot for a 12-10 score. 

Another penalty allowed Hall to level the scores on 35 minutes in front of the posts.

Joey Leilua Featherstone Rovers Credit: PA Images
Joey Leilua Featherstone Rovers Credit: PA Images

HT: Featherstone 12-12 Leigh

It was a hard-hitting start to the second half, and the first points came from the right boot of Inu. The 35-year-old converting a penalty to give his side a 14-12 lead on 47 minutes.

Ferguson crossed for his fifth try in Leigh colours on 43 minutes. The former NRL winger found space out-wide thanks to a slick pass from Wales World Cup hopeful Caleb Aekins. 

Substitute hooker Edwin Ipape further extended Leigh’s lead in front of their travelling supporters on 58 minutes, sliding his way through to cross next to the sticks.

Hall crossed for his second on 70 minutes to give Featherstone a late hope for a comeback. Leigh struggled to keep possession and Rovers eventually took advantage to score in the corner. Hall missing from out-wide for a 24-16 score to Leigh.

However, the Centurions held strong and secured victory with a try through back-rower Sam Stone. The Australian just about grounding a grubber kick from Joe Mellor to celebrate the win in front of the fans.

Match stats

Featherstone: Kheirallah, Briscoe, Leilua, Hellewell, Hall, Smith, Jacks, Kopczak, Widlie, Lockwood, Bussey, Sene-Lefao, Moors

Bench: Ford, Davies, Ferres, Cooper.

Tries: Hall (2)

Goals: Hall 4/5

Leigh: Aekins, Ferguson, Chamberlain, Inu, Reynolds, Mellor, Sidlow, Smith, Amone, Wardle, Stone, Asiata.

Bench: O’Donnell, Nakubuwai, Ioane, Ipape.

Tries: Inu, Reynolds, Ferguson, Ipape, Stone

Goals: Inu 5/6

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The article Featherstone 16-30 Leigh: Centurions claim 1895 Cup  appeared first on Loverugbyleague.com.

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