Dewsbury game plan rewarded in the rain

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The Independent Online

You know a competition has a curse on it when it takes the worst night of the year for its final and so it was with the Trans-Pennine Cup contested in near farcical conditions at Dewsbury last night.

The Rams, home side by virtue of the toss of a coin, adapted better to the torrential rain and deep pools of standing water, although both teams did remarkably well to string together any rugby in suchcircumstances.

Leigh the leaders of the Northern Ford Premiership, took an early advantage with a penalty kick by Paul Wingfield after Heath Cruckshank had been dumped in an illegal two-man tackle. After that, the Yorkshire side were always the more in control, keeping itsimple and playing a well thought-out kicking game.

It was over ambitious handling by the Leigh prop, Dave Whittle, that led to Dewsbury's first try. His pass went to ground and from the resulting scrum Nathan Graham squelched through for a splashdown which Barry Eaton improved with his conversion.

Even with the rain blowing into their faces, Dewsbury continued to have the better of the first half, although clear-cut chances were inevitably at a premium. They had to wait until four minutes into the second half before they scored again and the first piece of silverware of thedomestic season could be considered reasonably safe.

It was David Mycoe's angled kick, skimming over the water, that set it up, Sean Richardson and Dan Potter hacking on before Alex Godfrey touched down.

Leigh could not make their breakthrough until three minutes from the end, David Murray's try after Chris Causey had kicked through, coming just too late.

Dewsbury Rams: Graham; Godfrey, O'Meara, Potter, Flynn; Mycoe, Eaton; Long, Talbot, Haigh, Richardson, Spink, Ball. Substitutes used: Delaney, Wood, McDonald, Hicks.

Leigh Centurions: Donlan; Wingfield, Anderson, Cross, Hadcroft; Fairclough, Purtill; Street, Murray, Whittle, Baldwin, Cruckshank, Bristow. Substitutes used: Patel, Causey, Norman, Bowker.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham).