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Two sides from the wrong end if the 2024 Super League table met in the final game of round ten as the Castleford Tigers went to Leigh Leopards with both sides looking for their third win of the season to cut adrift the pointless London Broncos in last place.

The bookies couldn’t see anything other than a win for the Leopards, giving the visitors a sixteen-point start in the coupon for the first meeting between the two strugglers, mostly in recognition of the way that Leigh demolished the Catalans Dragons last time out just eight days ago.

There was little to choose between the two sides on the opening exchanges as the each tested the others defensive line and fortitude.

On eleven a loose Matt Moylan pass was intercepted by Louis Senior who pinned his ears back and went eighty metres down the right wing to evade the chasers and score in the corner. Rowan Mills was unable to add the touchline conversion.

On fifteen, Tex Hoy crashed over the top of his tackler from short range to get the Tigers second of the evening after fast hands from the centre of the field to the left edge. This time Milnes found the target from close to the touchline for a 10-0 lead.

Loius Senior had a second try ruled out on eighteen minutes when the last pass was judged to have travelled forwards.

It was magical from Leigh on twenty-six as the ball was moved through half a dozen pairs of hands with Moylan taking the final pass from Lachlan Lam to weave through the defence to ground.

A thirty-sixth minute Edwin Ipape on the last tackle took a ricochet off a Tigers defender and was regained by Ipape to dive over for the equalising score. Moylan added the extras and from being ten points behind, the home side took a 12-10 lead.

Leigh rounded off a rampant fifteen-minute spell when Josh Carnley went over in the left corner to score under three tacklers. Moylan added the touchline conversion for an 18-10 half time lead.

Louis Senior had another try ruled out of forty-nine after the ball was determined to have moved forward in the tap back. Rather than Castleford get back in the game it was Leigh who snatched the initiative when Lam fed Leutele to walk over for the four-pointer. Moylan limped his kick over the crossbar for a fourteen-point lead, Leigh pulling away to a second consecutive win.

With twenty minutes remaining a great break from Tex Hoy found the supporting Sam Wood to motor over without a hand being laid upon him. Milnes added the conversion to reduce the arrears to eight points.

Twelve minutes from time Charnley broke down the left wing before finding Lam in support to score the fifth Leigh try of the evening and take the game beyond the mini-Castleford fightback. Moylan dropped his conversion short of the crossbar, the Leopards lead was twelve points.

Two minutes later the Leigh nerves were set jangling as Innes Senior benefitted from the short kick off and a tap pass from Hoy to cross in the corner. Milnes added the conversion, the difference between the sides now just a converted try.

On seventy-seven Louis Senior went over in the corner with a one-handed grounding, and after sending the decision up as a ‘NO TRY’ the referee was overruled by the video official who awarded the try. Milnes kicked the conversion from the touchline to level the scores with a minute left on the clock. Those sixty seconds passed with no further opportunities and the game went to Golden Point Extra Time.

Castleford won the coin toss and elected to receive. The Tigers worked the ball to the Leigh thirty, but great Leopards defence prevented them from attempting a drop goal. On their first use of the ball Leigh worked their way inside the Castleford ten but were also unable to register any points.

Pinned deep in their own half for a defensive set of six, the Tigers struggled to clear their lines but as Leigh drove back at them Leutele lost the ball on the carry.

As the hooter sounded the end of the first half of extra time, Moylan attempted a drop goal which drifted wide. The game moved into the second period.

One minute into the second period, Innes Senior stole the ball and was penalised, but Leigh ran the ball close to the sticks, Moylan attempting a drop goal from thirty metres which hit the right upright and bounced back into the field of play and the grateful hands of the Tigers defence.

A minute from the end of the second period of extra time, Lam skewed an attempted drop goal wide of the posts, the clock running down to a drawn game.

An exciting game fought out between two sides who are struggling for consistency and form in 2024 which ended up with honours shared and a league point each after a great Tigers fightback in a game which appeared to be well won by the Leopards with ten minutes of the game remaining. The result does little good for either team and both coaches will be ruing wasted chances in golden point.

Leigh Leopards: Moylan (T, 4/5 G), Hanley, Hardaker, Leutele (T), Charnley (T), McNamara, Lam (T), Amone, Dwyer, Trout, O’Donnell, Halton, Hughes.  Subs: Holmes, Davis, Ipape (T), Brogan. 18th: McIntosh.

Castleford Tigers: Hoy (T), Senior L (2T), Hall C, Wood (T), Senior I (T), Milnes (4/5 G), Miller, Watts, McShane, Westerman, Mellor, El-Zakhem, Hill. Subs: Horne, Hall S, Cobb, Martin. 18th Man: Griffin. 

Half-Time: 18-10.

Full-Time: 28-28. Golden Point: 28-28.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-8, 0-10, 4-10, 6-10, 10-10, 12-10, 16-10, 18-10: HT: 22-10, 24-10, 24-14, 24-16, 28-16, 28-20, 28-22, 28-26, 28-28 :FT: 28-28:GP.

Lead Exchanges: Castleford – Square – Leigh - Square.

Referee: James Vella.

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 4th May 2024 7:47 PM | Views : 3692 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES