Derek Beaumont believed Leigh’s first Challenge Cup win in more than half a century was written in stars.

But Edwin Ipape feared Leopards’ long break between Wembley trophies wasn’t necessarily destined to end.

However, all good things come to those who wait with Ipape’s faith in his team mates finally justified.

“I spoke to my mates at the beginning of the comp and said if Leigh are going to do something special, this is the group that will do it” he revealed in the Wembley tunnel.

“But I thought if we don’t do it then I am not sure what is going to happen. Those were the words I spoke and I believed what I said.

“So, to do what we have just sums up the will and the desire we have in the group.

“I have seen this group of boys work hard day in, day out. What builds great teams is great individuals coming together collectively to achieve a certain goal.

“Even when we lost a few games at the start of the year, there were no blow outs and games were in the balance.

“We looked back and saw the effort we were putting in. We have been on the up and up since,” said the 24-year-old hooker.

Leigh’s triumph was cheered throughout Leigh but also back in Ipape’s native Papua New Guinea.

“I hope the connection between Super League and PNG grows more,” he explained. “I want more of the PNG guys to get a chance like I did.

“If I can inspire just one person than I am okay with that. I am doing all I can to be the best version of myself, to be the best citizen of my country and be a good player for Leigh Leopards and a good person for the brand.”