Leigh Centurions 20 Warrington Wolves 34
TWO tries in the final quarter edged this game in favour of the Wolves and although Leigh have a few defensive frailties to work on, there is still a lot of promise for the season ahead.
In the first half Leigh looked sharp as their right side attack took the game to the Wolves and there was some fine interplay between Bob Beswick, Martyn Ridyard and Ryan Brierley.
Warrington were quickly out of the blocks with Kevin Penny making the most of some Alex Brown indecision to finish in the corner, the first of a hat-trick for the returning Wolf. Gareth O’Brien goaled to make it 0-6.
Leigh’s 13th minute riposte was worthy of any game as they pushed the ball wide on the last tackle between Ridyard, Brierley, Stuart Littler and Adam Higson. Brierley then supported to complete the seventy metre score. Ridyard drew the scores level.
Andy Thornley then offloaded for Beswick and Littler to work an opening for Higson to score with Ridyard again goaling from wide out to secure a 12-6 advantage.
That lasted just three minutes as the Wolves again found Penny on the Leigh edge and with Brown in no-mans land, it was another easy finish for the wingman which was goaled superbly.
Centurions then fashioned a number of chances. Beswick was held up over the line, Gregg McNally fired a pass into touch and Matty Sarsfield also knocked-on over the line before Higson picked up a low pass from debutant Kurt Haggerty to cross at the corner to secure a narrow 16-12 half-time advantage.
Wolves made a great start to the new half with Jordan Burke running forty metres to score and there were more questions asked when Gene Ormsby burst down the wing and the ball then passed through a further three pairs of hands before Penny went under the posts for his third. O’Brien added his fourth goal and Warrington led 24-16.
The impressive Ryan Duffy pulled a try back for Leigh after 51 minutes but as changes came into force this blunted the Centurions attack, with the loss of McNally significant.
Warrington put daylight between themselves and their hosts when one-time Leigh dual contract second row James Laithwaite changed the point of attack and Ryan Shaw grounded in a three-man tackle.
Then after Toby King had halted an exciting Brierley counter attack, Wolves went over with a couple of minutes remaining. Brad Dwyer ran, Glenn Riley supported and Joe Philbin ran through for O’Brien to complete his goal haul and claim victory for Wolves.
Leigh: Greg McNally; Adam Higson, Stuart Littler, Tom Armstrong, Alex Brown; Martyn Ridyard, Ryan Brierley; Tom Spencer, Bob Beswick, Ryan Duffy, Matt Sarsfield, Andy Thornley, Sam Barlow. Subs: Lewis Foster, Chris Hankinson, Jamie Acton, Jake Emmitt, Liam Kay, Kurt Haggerty, Mat Gardner, Anthony Bate, Martin Aspinwall, Steve Maden, Mick Govin.
Warrington: Jordan Burke; Gene Ormsby, Ryan Shaw, Rhys Evans, Kevin Penny; Ben Currie, Gareth O'Brien; Anthony England, Brad Dwyer, Glenn Riley, Danny Bridge, James Laithwaite, Ben Evans. Subs: Tom Walker, Declan Patton, Stefan Ratchford, Roy Asotasi, Micky Higham, Jack Johnson, Toby King, George King, Andy Ackers, Joe Philbin.
Refere: C Kendall