LEIGH lifted the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup for the first time, announcing their Super League credentials by inflicting a first defeat of the season on holders and Championship rivals, Featherstone.

Adrian Lam’s side outscored the divisional leaders five tries to two at the magnificent Tottenham Hotspur Stadium; a far cry from their 28-6 defeat at wet and muddy Post Office Road last February.

Leigh Journal:

While ex Centurion Craig Hall scored all Rovers points, Krisnan Inu, Ben Reynolds, Blake Ferguson, Edwin Ipape and Sam Stone touched down in this deserved 30-16 victory.

Inu also kicked five goals as Leigh triumphed in this entertaining curtain raiser to the Challenge Cup final between Huddersfield and Wigan.

It wasn’t all picture perfect for Centurions but a brilliant second half display, outscoring their opponents 18-4 ensured the silverware headed back to the LSV.

Leigh Journal:

Brian McDermott’s Featherstone got the first ever game of rugby league underway at the Premier League home of Spurs and the first penalty went Rovers’ way for Nene Macdonald’s aerial challenge on Luke Briscoe.

The second for an adjudged late hit by John Asiata on Morgan Smith saw Hall kick Rovers in front.

But Leigh responded quickly helped by their own penalty for a high shot on Tom Amone.

Aaron Smith drove the ball to the line before Reynolds’ angled kick to the left wing was seized above Briscoe and then grounded by Krisnan Inu. Inu goaled.

Leigh Journal:

Macdonald’s knock on led to Rovers’ countering superbly to regain the lead. Mark Kheirallah’s break and pass provided the space for Hall to touch down unopposed.

Leigh lost Smith to a head injury assessment before Hall boosted his tally to 10 points with a 23rd minute penalty for Joe Wardle failing to clear the ruck.

When Hall was forced into touch after collecting Ipape’s kick, Centurions scored a second try; Reynolds running through a huge gap to gleefully score in front of the Rovers’ faithful.

Inu improved to make it 12-10 But it was all square at the break as Reynolds failed to find touch with a penalty before an offside call led to Hall landing a fourth goal.

Asiata lost control of the ball as he lunged for the line early in the second half but a high shot on Kai O’Donnell led to Inu giving Leigh a lead for third time at 14-12.

That advantage grew to 18-12 after 52 minutes as Ferguson, scorer of four tries on debut against Workington, made it five in two games. Caleb Aekins provided the cut-out pass and the Australian ace finished one-handed in the corner.

Inu missed his first kick but was on target six minutes later as Leigh took a firm grip on the game.

Briscoe’s fragility under the high ball led to a repeat set with Leigh maximising the error with a fourth try.

Man of the match Ipape, already practically unstoppable, burst through two would be tacklers, to add to his growing try tally.

Rovers didn’t lie down and Hall rounded off a fine handling move with nine minutes left.

Failure to convert left Rovers two scores behind before Sam Stone’s 78th minute opportunist try sparked the celebrations in earnest.

Leigh Journal:

Teams: Featherstone: Kheirallah; Briscoe, Leilua, Hellewell, Hall; Smith, Jacks; Kopczak, Wildie, Lockwood, Bussey, Sene-Lefao, Moors; Interchange: Ford, Davies, Ferres, Cooper.

Tries: Hall (12, 71) Goals: Hall 4/5 Leigh: Aekins; Ferguson, Chamberlain, Macdonald, Inu, Reynolds, Mellor; Sidlow, Smith, Amone, Wardle, Stone, Asiata; Interchange: O’Donnell, Nakubuwai, Ioane, Ipape.

Tries: Inu (7), Reynolds (31), Ferguson (52), Ipape (58), Stone (78) Goals: Inu 5/6 Referee: Liam Moore Half-time: 12-12