MICKY Higham admits it’s hard not to become too excited about Leigh’s unlikely turnaround in fortunes.

But Centurions’ veteran hooker admits: “It really is a bit of a fairy tale.”

John Duffy’s side returns to Betfred Championship action at Sheffield Eagles on Sunday (kick-off 3pm) with both clubs having been involved in midweek 1895 Cup quarter-final ties.

This will be the teams’ third meeting in 2019 with a 34-12 win for Duffy’s men in the Challenge Cup at Olympic Legacy Park last March followed by a 42-38 Championship success on May 5.

Eagles sit one place outside the top five but are one of six clubs separated only by four points,

Leigh are joint second having lost only once in eight league outings.

A 40-0 whitewash at Dewsbury last Sunday underlined the club’s transformation since last September’s 52-6 defeat on the same ground.

“It was a real low point for the club,” said Higham, one of only three players still on the payroll since that day but the only one to play in the game.

“I could see the club crumbling under our feet. It was a really sad time with family and friends almost reduced to tears.

“So, what a difference. To comeback and put in a performance like that is testament to Derek Beaumont, the directors, Duffs and his staff and the players.

“It really is a bit of fairy tale and hard not to get excited and put a smile on your face.

“To nil a team, no matter who or where you are playing is a great result.

“However, we know there is still a lot of rugby to be played between now and the end of the year.

“And we’re doing it this week having to back up after three games.

“The challenge for us now is to keep lads fresh and fit and to keep this run going.”

Cory Paterson became the latest old boy to re-join the Centurions bandwagon with potentially another couple of signings in the pipeline.

“We are trying to build a squad where there is competition for places,” added Higham who will celebrate is 39th birthday in September.

“And I don’t think Derek is throwing stupid money around. We are getting players who want to play for the club and that is the big incentive

“They are not coming for a big pay day; they are coming to play for Leigh and to help continue what we are building.

“There is a good feeling around the club. There is a close bunch of lads who all enjoy each other’s company. Above all we all work hard for each other.”