IT has been seven years since Tyldesley and Leigh last faced each other, as this eagerly awaited fixture entertained a large crowd from first to last whistle, via some excellent attacking rugby and bone crunching defending.

Tyldesley secured a bonus point 25-20 win to retake the Sean Grainey memorial cup, although two key moments during the first ten minutes, could have seen a different result.

Despite Bongs going in at the break 15-13 up, it was Leigh who shaded the first half regarding territory and possession, but a quick fix during the break resulted in Tyldesley bossing the second period, for long spells.

It took just three minutes for Tyldesley to breach the Leigh line, but they got a helping hand from the match official, who missed a clear knock on, seconds earlier, but play continued, much to the disbelief of all looking on.

Despite the protests Bongs continued to play.

Excellent pick and drives moved the hosts closer to the whitewash, with Jack Weaver, who had a great game, touching down near the posts, Paul Martin converted.

Leigh should have scored a try minutes later, but possession was lost over the line, however, Tyldesley’s relief was short lived.

Leigh came back again, through some great backs play, which cut open the home defence, in the eleventh minute, solid defence held out, but from a good scrum, Chris Boyle crashed over, Rob Drake added the extra two.

Leigh turned up the heat and converted two penalties, via Drake, giving them a six point lead, but with the game just passing the half hour mark, Martin added a three pointer.

Just five of the half remained, when a good half break from Mark Dickinson, found debutant, Greg Wilde, on his shoulder, who, despite being close to the line, took his chance well, and showed good strength, before touching down in the corner.

The introduction of Matt Soulsby produced a far more controlled Tyldesley performance, which gave Mark Dickinson far more time on the ball, who guided the team, superbly, around the park.

Ten minutes in to second half, Soulsby finished off some great forward plays, nipping in for a cheeky try, after picking up at the back of a ruck, just meters out.

Tyldesley went 12 points in front, after a brilliant Dickinson Crossfield kick, caught Leigh out, with Wilde taking the ball in full flight, before touching down, for his second try.

Leigh came back strongly, with Marcus Williams crossing for a good individual try, yet again, Drake, was successful with the boot, making it a very tense and nervy last nine minutes.

With just five points now separating the sides, Leigh stepped up, and pushed Tyldesley hard, who had a chance of extending their lead, via a penalty.

But just like an earlier attempt it sailed wide and along with the three failed conversions, would the twelve points missed, cost them.

The defence held out, giving Tyldesley a deserved win and local bragging rights, until next April, at least, when friendship’s will be put on hold for another eighty minutes.

Man of the match was Mark Dickinson, who bossed the game with his tactical kicking.

Next week Tyldesley are away to Bowden, meanwhile Leigh entertain West Park with a 2.15 kick off.