MAGIC Matt Moylan conjured up a man of the match display as Leigh Leopards recorded a historic first ever Betfred Super League win over Catalans Dragons with a 30-2 triumph.

Full-back Moylan scored Leopards’ fifth and final try, kicked five goals for a 100 percent success rate and also produced assists for Kai O’Donnell and Umyla Hanley.

O’Donnell touched down twice as Steve McNamara’s visitors suffered only a second league defeat of the season; a loss that denied them chance to replace St Helens as league leaders.

Leigh Journal:

To make a great night even better Leopards welcomed back skipper John Asiata from injury for a 20-minute second half comeback.

Leigh’s performance was as good as their best moments in 2023. And with back-to-back home games to come against Castleford and Salford, they can further push their case for a play-off charge.

Leopards also have to blood new signing Darnell McIntosh after his arrival from Hull FC.

There was little evidence of the demolition to come after an almost set-for-set opening quarter.

The stalemate persisted for longer than might have been expected. When Catalans did close in on the home try line, Tariq Sims knocked on.

As Dragons again threatened, Leigh’s response was to break away and take the lead with Josh Charnley’s 235th Super League try.

When Sims chipped for the line Tom Amone caught and charged 40 metres upfield before bravely toppled by Theo Fages.

Leigh Journal:

But Leopards stayed on the front foot with Charnley running in unopposed at the corner. Moylan added the extras.

Amone’s powerplay certainly lifted the atmosphere and the tempo of the contest.

Arthur Romano briefly thought he’d touched down for the Dragons in front of the North Stand after Tom Johnstone challenged Zak Hardaker for a high ball.

Referee Aaron Moore’s on field ‘no try’ decision was confirmed after video replays.

Leigh were forced into more defending after Dan Norman’s knock on but they were up for the challenge. Norman though was to take no further part in proceedings, forced off by a head injury.

However, a needlessly conceded penalty by Frankie Halton allowed Arthur Mourgue to convert from 20 metres after the interval hooter.

Leigh quickly shrugged off any disappointment at conceding cheap points. And seven minutes into the second half added a superbly crafted second touchdown.

Lachlan Lam sharply changed the point of attack, linked with Moylan and the full-back’s inside pass was touched down by second row O’Donnell.

Moylan added the extras and then quickly turned try provider once more. Receiving the ball from Lam, the full-back’s cut out pass gave Hanley an easy finish for his 10th try of the season.

Another excellent conversion saw Leigh gain a three-score advantage.

The good news kept on coming with Asiata’s long-awaited return after 54 minutes as replacement for Owen Trout.

The tries also kept coming as O’Donnell accepted Brad Dwyer’s pass to slide over after 64 minutes.

And six minutes from time Moylan scored the try his display merited, also tagging on the extras to cap a memorable night both individually and collectively.

Teams: Leopards: Moylan; Hanley, Hardaker, Leutele, Charnley; McNamara, Lam; Amone, Davis, Trout, O’Donnell, Halton, Hughes; substitutes: Norman, Holmes, Asiata, Dwyer.

Tries: Charnley (26), O’Donnell (47, 64), Hanley (50), Moylan (74).

Goals: Moylan 5/5.

Catalans: Mourgue; Davies, Ikuvalu, Romano, Johnstone; Rouge, Fages; Seguier, Da Costa, Naverette, Sims, Sironen, Garcia; substitutes: Laguerre, Nikorima, Satae, Maria.

Tries: None.

Goals: Mourgue 1/1.

Referee: Aaron Moore.

Half-time: 6-2.

Attendance: 7,321.