Bradford Bulls 20 Leigh Centurions 24

Leigh celebrate their win over Bradford. Photo: Brian King
Leigh celebrate their win over Bradford. Photo: Brian King

Micky Higham scored a last minute try to rescue a dramatic win for Leigh over Bradford in a pulsating Summer Bash clash in Blackpool.

Leigh trailed 20-18 and they looked like suffering only their second league defeat of the season before Josh Drinkwater poked through a kick and Higham launched himself to ground the ball under the sticks.

Centurions boss Neil Jukes gave Australian half-back Drinkwater his first start instead of Martyn Ridyard and it proved a big decision as he won the Man of the Match award.

Bradford made a strong start and were 10-0 up inside as many minutes. Danny Williams scored in the corner in the sixth minute though Danny Addy failed to add the conversion.

Moments later, the Bulls were in again as an Addy kick through was well claimed by Mitch Clark.

But Leigh fought back well and opened their account in the 16th minute when Liam Kay took a long pass from Josh Drinkwater above his head and scored in the corner. Ben Reynolds couldn’t kick the goal.

Reynolds gave Centurions a good platform with a 40-20 kick in the 27th minute but they were unable to capitalise.

Leigh leveled the scores just before half-time when Drinkwater spotted a gap in the Bulls defence and spun over from close range. Reynolds added the conversion to make it 10-10 at the break.

It got even better for Neil Jukes’ side within three minutes of the restart as winger Adam Higson produced s superb acrobatic finish in the corner to score from Drinkwater’s long pass. Reynolds kicked the extras from the touchline and also added a penalty soon after to give Leigh an 18-10 lead.

But Bradford were far from done and Adam O’Brien scored from close range in the 53rd minute but Addy was unable to convert. The Bulls thought they were in again five minutes later but they were denied by the video referee.

The Bulls continued to press and with five minutes remaining they regained the lead after Addy burrowed over from dummy half. Oscar Thomas added the conversion to make it 20-18 to the Yorkshire side.

But Higham popped up with the game-defining try in front of the jubilant travelling Centurions fans.

Leigh:

Smith, Higson, Worthington, Armstrong, Kay, Reynolds, Drinkwater, Hansen, Higham, Weston, Maitua, Whiting, Hock. Subs: Hood, Hopkins, Emmitt, Acton

Bradford:

Clare, Caro, Blythe, Welham, Williams, Thomas, Mathers, Sidlow, Addy, Clark, Olbison, Ferguson, Pitts. Subs: O’Brien, Crossley, Mellor, Haggerty

Referee: Sam Ansell

Pitch: Good

Weather: Dry and bright

Attendance: 9,521