Kay hat-trick seals derby win for Centurions

Leigh winger Liam Kay
Leigh winger Liam Kay

Leigh Centurions 18 Wigan Warriors 14

LIAM Kay scored a hat-trick as Leigh enjoyed a pre-season win over neighbours Wigan at the Sports Village.

The Kingstone Press Championship Champions had their headline-grabbing new signing Fuifui Moimoi making his debut but other new faces Ben Reynolds and Greg Worthington caught the eye as they made promising starts to their Leigh careers.

Centurions deservedly led 12-4 at half-time but an improved performance from Wigan after the restart saw the visitors take a 14-12 lead with half an hour remaining.

In front of a 4,125 crowd, Leigh came roaring back and finished the game strongly with the crucial try coming six minutes from the end when Reynolds kicked ahead and Kay pounced for his hat-trick.

Wigan had led through a tenth minute Josh Charnley try in the corner having been set up by Joel Tomkins. Matty Smith was unable to convert.

The rest of the half belonged to Leigh who completed more sets and made more line breaks than their Super League opponents.

Kay scored his first in the 23rd minute after some quick hands to the left gave him enough space to finish off. Ryan Brierley added the conversion from touch.

Centurions continued to press and Gregg McNally almost got Adam Higson over in the corner after a weighted kick.

With five minutes of the half remaining, Ryan Hampshire was unable to catch a Reynolds bomb and there was Kay again to pick up the loose ball and score. Brierley’s goal from touch was another cracker to send Leigh in leading 12-4 at the break.

A much-changed Wigan side made a promising start to the second half and scored twice in quick succession through Joe Burgess and Hampshire, the latter being converted to leave Leigh trailing 14-12.

But Centurions finished well, creating several good chances before the match-winning try from Kay which Reynolds goaled superbly from the touchline.