Leigh Centurions 30 Sheffield Eagles 12.

LEIGH fans must wait for a first look at Aussie star Blake Ferguson but they can celebrate Adrian Lam’s side reaching the final of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.

Named in the initial 21-man squad, Ferguson didn’t feature in a hard-fought semi-final that saw Centurions recover from 10-6 down to book a date with Featherstone Rovers at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 28.

The Championship leaders brushed aside Barrow Raiders 46-6 at Craven Park earlier in the day.

In contrast, Leigh laboured for long periods, scoring 18 points in the final 13 minutes to finally break the part-timers resistance.

Centurions’ appearance in the capital will be their first cup final since beating Sheffield in the 2013 Northern Rail Cup.

But you suspect it will require a more complete performance to bring home the silverware against Brian McDermott’s Rovers.

Indeed, within four minutes of setting the game in motion, Krisnan Inu was kicking-off again with Leigh 6-0 adrift.

Caleb Aekins misjudged the bounce from Anthony Thackeray’s kick and ex Hull KR centre Kris Welham carried the loose ball over the line. Izaac Farrell improved to make it 6-0.

In their previous week’s 34-6 defeat, the 2019 competition winners only managed their solitary try after 66 minutes.

Leigh then trailed by two scores after 15 minutes as Farrell kicked a 40-yard penalty for Tom Amone’s indiscretion.

And a surfeit of handling errors ensured Eagles easily kept Centurions away from their try line.

A first penalty after 27 minutes for offside finally gave Leigh chance to build some sustained pressure. Edwin Ipape and John Asiata linked up in front of the Eagles’ posts and Sam Stone crashed over. Inu converted.

Ipape’s introduction had certainly pepped up lethargic Leigh though a potential try before half-time was disallowed for a push as he chased his own kick.

And the Papua New Guinean was penalised again before the break; sin binned for a high tackle on Tyler Dickinson. Farrell kicked his third goal and Sheffield led 10-6 going into the final 40 minutes.

No doubt on the end of a dressing room dressing down, the 12-men came out firing Ben Reynolds was held-up over the line before a switch of attack and a penalty for Joel Farrell’s high tackle on Joe Mellor saw Kai O’Donnell bulldoze over.

Inu’s goal gave Leigh a lead they held in an increasingly fractious game until Farrell’s third penalty 15 minutes from time squared the contest.

Ed Chamberlain twice went close before a familiar supply route saw Leigh register a game breaking try.

Leigh Journal:

Mellor’s kick in front of the North Stand was plucked out of the air by Macdonald who touched down to raucous cheers. Inu kicked the extras.

And in Leigh’s next attack, full-back Aekins wriggled over to secure a final place. The home side weren’t quite finished and Chamberlain picked-off Izaac Farrell’s pass to race 60 metres to score another six-point try.

Teams: Leigh: Aekins; Brand, Chamberlain, Macdonald, Inu; Reynolds, Mellor; Sidlow, Smith, Amone, Stone, Wardle, Asiata; substitutes: Nakubuwai, McDonnell, O’Donnell.

Tries: Stone (28), O’Donnell (51), Macdonald (67), Aekins (71), Chamberlain (79).

Goals: Inu 5/5.

Sheffield: Laulu-Togaga’e; Jones-Bishop, Welham, Johnson, Bass; I Farrell, Thackeray; Douglas, Halafihi, Dickinson, Bower, J Farrell, Hodgson; substitutes: Oakes, Wood, Broadbent, Holmes.

Tries: Welham (4).

Goals: I Farrell 4/4.

Referee: Nick Bennett.

Half-time: 6-10.

Attendance: 2,110.

Sin bin: Ipape (Leigh) 40