Leigh Centurions defeated fellow Championship side London Broncos 34-30 in the opening round of the Qualifiers at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday. The Centurions led 34-8 in the final quarter before London struck four tries without reply to set up a tense finish. Debutants Mitch Brown and Matty Dawson both notched braces for the Centurions, who face Salford Red Devils in round two.
The hosts were 14-8 up at the break after tries from Brown and Dawson as well as a penalty goal from Martyn Ridyard. London got on the scoresheet through Ben Hellewell and they also kicked a penalty courtesy of Jamie Soward. The Centurions went down to 12 men in the latter stages of the half as Cory Paterson was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle.
Ridyard kicked a penalty in the opening minutes of the second period before Reni Maitua barged over to extend the lead further. Brown and Dawson doubled their respective tallies before a crazy nine minute spell brought London back to within four points of their opponents. Api Pewhairangi started the fightback with a try in the 71st minute, prior to Soward and Leigh centre Greg Worthington both being sent off due to fighting. Pewhairangi, Andy Ackers and Daniel Harrison all added four pointers in the dying embers but the rather freakish comeback wasn’t to be completed.
|Leigh Sports Villiage|
|Sale Way, Leigh Sports Village, Leigh WN7 4JY, UK|