Centurions can look to 2001 for Challenge Cup inspiration

Leigh's Adam Bristow scores against Salford in 2001
Leigh's Adam Bristow scores against Salford in 2001

Leigh take on Salford this Saturday in what has been picked out as the tie of the round.

And while Centurions will be underdogs against Super League opposition, they will take inspiration from 2001 when they knocked out the Red Devils at Hilton Park.

​​​​​​​ Leigh and Salford have met on just eight previous occasions in the Challenge Cup, the last in 2001 when Paul Terzis’s side knocked out Super League Salford from the competition after a 16-12 success. The Centurions lost out narrowly 20-10 at Warrington in the next round.

Leigh were inspired by ex-Salford halfback Simon Savabic, one of five former Salford players in the home ranks, who landed two conversions and was heavily involved in two of his side’s three tries. Paul Anderson, Neil Turley and Adam Bristow scored second half tries after the visitors led 12-0 at half-time thanks to two tries by Warren Jowitt, both converted by Steve Blakeley.

Teams- Leigh: Turley; Hadcroft, Anderson, Fairclough, Ingram; Svabic, Bretherton; Street, Hamilton, Bradbury, Baldwin, Bristow, Morley. Subs: Whittle, Duffy, Kendrick, Leathem.

Salford: Broadbent; Pinkney, Maloney, Hancock, Offiah; Blakeley, Holroyd; Coley, Alker, Southern, Jowitt, Brown, Wainwright. Subs: Highton, Baynes, Littler, Makin.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford). Attendance: 6,408.

The teams first met in the competition in round two in 1900 when late tries by Herbert Hadwen and Tom Williams gave Salford a 9-2 win at their old ground at New Barnes. Salford went on to reach the final, losing 16-8 to Swinton at Fallowfield. Three years later Salford won the second round tie 11-0 at The Willows after a scoreless first half, the great Jimmy Lomas defying the quagmire conditions to dribble the ball 75 yards before scoring one of his side’s three tries. Salford again reached the final, losing to Halifax.

In 1907 Salford won a first round tie 10-5 at The Willows, thanks to a disputed try 12 minutes from time that was credited to Dave Preston and it was 51 years ago before the teams met again, a tie featured elsewhere in today’s programme (page 35) when Leigh won a third round replay 6-4 at The Willows after a 6-6 draw at Kirkhall Lane.

In 1981 and 1983 Salford were twice victorious at home over Leigh in early stages of the competition, winning a second round tie 12-3 with tries by Paul O’Neill and Stewart Williams and following up with a 12-5 first round victory two years later when O’Neill and David Driver were their try-scorers.