Leigh claim thrilling 1895 Cup victory

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Leigh Centurions are in the semi finals of the 1895 Cup after a thrilling 19-18 victory over Barrow Raiders at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

It was a scrappy start, but it was the Centurions who drew first blood as Greg McNally managed to breach the Barrow defence. Martyn Ridyard missed the conversion, but it was still a four point lead for the Centurions.

The Centurions were soon in a comfortable situation midway through the first half as Joe Cator got through a couple of tackles to score. Ridyard scored the conversion to bring the Leythers into double figures.

But Barrow gave themselves hope right on half time as ex Centurion Jordan Walne managed to get over. Ryan Johnston converted to bring the Raiders back to within four points.

The visitors had sprung into life and went in front in the second half as Luke Cresswell carried on his fine form with a good break to score. Johnston converted to put Barrow ahead by two points.

Just before the hour, Barrow went further ahead as Leigh switched off from a high kick, allowing Johnston to collect and spin over. He missed the conversion but the Raiders led by six points.

Leigh tried to get back into the game, but Barrow, who won their last two games prior to this one, were defending valiantly and were able to keep them out for the early part of the second half.

But the Centurions did find a way back as Jordan Thompson managed to barge over just after the hour mark. Ridyard hit the crucial conversion to level the scores.

However, straight after, Leigh shot themselves in the foot by conceding a penalty right in front of the posts, Johnston took the two points and punished them. Barrow were back in front by two points.

Just after missing the chance to level the scores, Ridyard then took his second chance and levelled from just outside the posts.

Now it was Barrow’s turn to shoot themselves in the foot as they conceded a penalty in the first play after the kick off, which gave the Centurions the field position.

After completing the set, Ridyard got the ball 20m and kicked a drop goal to put Leigh back in front with just three minutes to go.

After a frantic final minute, sparked by a Leigh knock on, Barrow blew their chance and scuffed the drop goal attempt, leaving the Centurions one win away from Wembley.

Leigh are back in action at the weekend and face another playoff rival in the Sheffield Eagles at Olympic Legacy Park.

As for Barrow, they have to pick themselves up as they prepare to welcome second placed Toulouse on Sunday.

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