by Trevor Hunt
Leigh Centurions dual registered forward Tom Spencer is the latest casualty ahead of Sunday’s home clash with York City Knights in the Kingstone Press Championship.
The Wigan forward has been a virtual ever-present in the Leigh side this season, but he picked up a knock in Sunday’s bruising Northern Rail cup win over Whitehaven that could see him miss this Sunday’s vital game.
“It’s imperative that we maintain our push in the Championship,” said Centurions Head Coach, Paul Rowley. ”We have had a couple of hiccups that have seen us slip behind the leaders, but we have an ideal opportunity to apply the pressure again when York pay us a visit.
“We are doing it tough at present with injuries, and it looks very unlikely that we will get anyone back for Sunday. Ryan Brierley and Martyn Ridyard are getting closer to a return but I won’t be pushing them too early or risking them.”
Thankfully last Sunday’s win did signal a return for a full game for Thomas Coyle at half back, and although he was obviously ring rusty he made a couple of telling contributions in a hard fought win.
“Thomas has had his fair share of injuries and it is up to him to work his way in to how we do things here,” said Paul. ”But he is working hard and he made a good contribution, he will get better as he gets more match fitness.”
There were also telling contributions from Greg McNally as man-of-the-match and three try winger Jonathan Pownall. Pownall in particular showed some quality finishing whilst McNally’s contribution was invaluable, especially on attack where he had a hand in five of Leigh’s six tries.
That win pushed Leigh into the semi finals and their efforts were rewarded with a home tie against Batley Bulldogs.
“If you are in a cup competition, all you ask for is a home tie. And that’s what we have,” added Rowley. “We have had some great battles with Batley over recent years and as we already know from results this season they are a quality side with quality players and a top line coach in John Kear.
“That will be a very tough tie indeed, even though we are at the LSV. But they won’t relish coming here either and it should make for a great game.”
The tie takes place on the weekend of June 29/30 unless selected for the TV slot on the Thursday evening with the final to be played at Halifax’s ground on Saturday, July 20.