Leigh Centurions 26 Wakefield Trinity 40.

A bad start and equally poor finish to this high scoring contest condemned Leigh to an eighth successive league and cup defeat.

In between, Neil Jukes’ side produced some enterprising rugby to suggest they could end their recent run of losses started by defeat at Belle Vue back in March.

From 20-0 down after only 15 minutes Centurions roared back to lead 26-22 with half an hour remaining at Leigh Sports Village.

But Wakefield, now looking genuine Super 8 contenders, had sufficient energy and enterprise to rally with the remaining 18 points of a see-saw contest.

They were also helped by Danny Tickle’s sin binning for a professional foul, bagging their two remaining touch downs with Leigh down to 12 men.

Centurions remain one point off bottom spot ahead of this weekend’s break due to an early Challenge Cup exit. And but for a second half collapse by Widnes against Hull FC, Centurions might now be propping up the ladder.

“From 20-0 down we showed great character and it was a great fight back,” said Jukes. “But to finish like we did is where we are at.

“Again it was a case of not having the quality to make the right calls at the right time.

"Some of the stuff we can fix up in training but other mistakes are happening in games that I can't control.

“I thought we challenged them with ball in hand but we were guilty of shooting ourselves in the foot defensively. “ Leigh welcomed back Gareth Hock and Mitch Brown after injury and concussion respectively and also fielded a new half back pairing of Ryan Hampshire and Josh Drinkwater. But there was no immediate impact as Trinity-prompted by Irish international half back, Liam Finn, ran in three converted tries, including a 60 metres interception from centre Reece Lyne.

Finn also booted a penalty to make it 20-0. Leigh, however, came roaring back into contention as Curtis Naughton notched the first of his brace and Jamie Acton crashed over for a now familiar scoring contribution.

Drinkwater, kicking in Reynolds’ absence, converted both to cut the home deficit to eight points. Finn added a fifth goal as referee Chris Kendall’s penalty count grew only for Matty Dawson to score Leigh’s third try two minutes from the break.

Winger Dawson finished off an early Leigh raid in the second half and though Drinkwater missed his shot at goal, Centurions were back to within two points.

And when Hock sent in Naughton for his second try, followed by a Drinkwater conversion, Leigh hit the front at 26-22.

Sadly, for the home fans, it proved a false dawn and Wakefield were back in front after 55 minutes as Joe Arundel touched down and Finn maintained his 100 percent success rate with the boot.

Leigh almost hit back through Dayne Weston and Naughton. But after Tickle’s departure to the sin bin, Mason Caton-Brown and Danny Kirmond-with his second of the game-crossed for tries to finally take the game out of reach.

Match stats: Leigh: McNally; Dawson, Crooks, Brown, Naughton; Hampshire, Drinkwater; Hock, Pelissier, Green, Tickle, Stewart, Hansen; Substitutes: Acton, Wood, Weston, Burr.

Tries: Naughton (15, 50), Acton (18), Dawson (37, 43) Goals: Drinkwater 3/5 Wakefield Grix; Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Caton-Brown; Miller, Finn; Huby, Wood, Fifita, Ashurst, Kirmond, Hadley; substitutes: Arona, Hirst, Tupou, Sio.

Tries: Miller (2), Kirmond (6, 68), Lyne (13), Arundel (56), Caton-Brown (66).

Goals: Finn 8/8 Half-time: 16-22 Referee: Chris Kendall.