Leigh hang on to end leaders’ unbeaten record

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Blackburn 7 Leigh 8

If you like your rugby to be highly competitive, exciting, played with no backward steps taken by either team, this was the match to warm the cockles of your heart despite the elements.

Both teams were up for a rugby battle which, after 80 minutes would put their team in pole position at the top of the league.

Blackburn, the home team, playing against the elements, set out with all guns blazing forcing Leigh into some desperate defending.

Time and time again, the ball was sped along the Blackburn line to no avail.

In the 10th minute Rob Drake with a superb missed pass gave Jimmy Wilkinson space to break clear, his resulting pass to Olly Shepherd saw the winger dash on a magnificent 40 metre break.

The move was finished off when Olly Shepherd switched the ball to the outside for his full back to finish off in style. Rob Drake narrowly missing the conversion.

From then on the Leigh pack gradually took the sting out of the Blackburn eight gaining territory with surging runs and quality ball retention, on 36 minutes pressure was turned into points with a well struck penalty by Rob Drake.

Half time: Blackburn 0 Leigh 8.

Leigh, who were using two prop forwards as substitutes, benefited by increasing pressure in the scrummage, line out and broken play.

Early in the second half Leigh introduced their third substitute when Calvin Crompton made his first appearance of the season. The first 15 minutes of the second half highlighted Blackburn’s defensive capabilities, holding off a rampant Leigh outfit who were looking for the kill.

A couple of yellow cards handed out to both teams did nothing to slow the tempo of this enthralling game.

Back came the home side when a loose ball was pounced on to score a try wide out, the conversion being successful.

Two minutes from the end, after sustained pressure by Blackburn, they inexplicably scorned a reasonable chance at goal to opt for a scrum.

Not for the first time in the game, skipper Iain Wood took the ball against the head and Leigh cleared their lines.

This was a contest enjoyed by the true connoisseur of rugby that saw Leigh worthy winners.

Congratulations to the whole of the Leigh side who moved up a level to end Blackburn’s unbeaten record.

A mention to Leigh’s vociferous supporters who turned out in their numbers to encourage their team.