Centurions end Rams’ final dreams

dewsbury james lockwood batley craig potter,byron smith & dane manning
dewsbury james lockwood batley craig potter,byron smith & dane manning

Leigh Centurions 44

Dewsbury Rams 10

DEWSBURY’S dream of reaching the Northern Rail Cup final was shattered by a rampant Leigh side last Sunday.

Just seven days after the Rams suffered a 34-6 defeat at the Leigh Sporting Village, the Centurions inflicted further pain on Dewsbury as they reached the final for the first time in five years, setting up a clash with Halifax.

The tie was effectively over by half-time as Leigh produced some scintillating rugby to storm into a 34-6 lead, with Centurions hooker John Duffy in inspirational form.

The Rams tried hard after the break and did well to restrict Leigh to just 10 points but it was not enough to prevent them bowing out.

Dewsbury had produced their best display of the season to dump holders Batley Bulldogs out in the last round but they were unable to repeat that form and Leigh hit them with an early two-try blast.

Leigh took a third-minute lead when powerful prop David Mills gathered and managed to get the ball down despite the attention of four Rams defenders. Mick Nanyn converted.

Scott Turner then misjudged a Jamie Ellis kick and Tommy Goulden added a second try, with the prolific Nanyn again converting to make it 12-0.

Dewsbury hit back and their fans were given hope when Pat Walker chipped over to put them on the attack and James Lockwood barged over at the side of the posts.

Dominic Brambani added the goal but soon after Leigh upped the tempo and added four tries in 16 minutes.

The outstanding Duffy caught the Rams defence flat- footed as he dummied over for a try which Nanyn improved before Martyn Ridyard’s excellent long pass sent winger Dean McGilvray racing in at the corner as the Centurions extended their lead to 22-6 after 30 minutes.

Dewsbury were penalised for holding down and Duffy took full advantage, darting over for his second try and Nanyn tagged on his fourth goal before Leigh produced another fine move to add a sixth try just before half-time.

Chris Hill released full-back Stuart Donlan, who in turn sent Super League bound scrum-half Jamie Ellis over for his 21st try of the season. Nanyn again converted to put the tie beyond Dewsbury’s reach at 34-6.

Nanyn crossed for the first of his two tries just seven minutes into the second half before Dewsbury had their best spell of the match.

Matthew Tebb came off the bench and produced an excellent display to get the Rams going forward, with good support coming from winger Michael Wainwright, centre Elliott Cosgrove and second rower Matthew Sarsfield.

Tebb created Dewsbury’s second try when he broke away from the defence before sending Brambani over for his 11th try of the season.

A scrappy spell followed before Leigh brought Duffy back into the action and the hooker capped a man-of-the-match performance by putting in a lovely weighted kick which Nanyn gathered for his second try.

Nanyn tagged on his sixth goal, for a 20-point personal haul, leaving Dewsbury to concentrate on their scrap against relegation from the Co-operative Championship.

Leigh Centurions: Donlan; Maden, Littler, Nanyn, McGilvray; Ridyard, Ellis; Hill, Duffy, Mills, Thornley, Goulden, Taylor. Subs (all used): Nash, Higson, Nicholson, Armstrong.

Dewsbury Rams: Turner; Wainwright, Cosgrove, Faal, Buchanan; P Walker, Brambani; Hirst, Blake, Lockwood, Fletcher, Sarsfield, Tonks. Subs (all used): England, Menzies, Tebb, Wall.

Referee: Matthew Thomason.

Attendance: 2,234.