Saints elevated as Lyon strikes

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The Independent Online

St Helens were indebted to Australian centre Jamie Lyon as they came from 20-14 down to snatch a 27-20 victory over Leigh. The spirited Centurions led 14-8 at the break courtesy of a hat-trick from centre Danny Halliwell, who was taken off on a stretcher in the second half.

Saints, who rested Paul Sculthorpe, Paul Anderson and Paul Wellens, claimed first-half tries through Darren Albert and Jason Hooper before drawing level shortly after the restart when Albert registered a 60-metre try to complete his brace. John Duffy added Leigh's fourth try before Jon Wilkin's drop goal and Lyon's second touchdown finally broke the Centurions' resistance.

A 10th successive defeat left Leigh coach Darren Abram facing up to the inevitable, with relegation set to be confirmed if they lose their next match at champions Leeds on 7 August. He is already preparing for life in National League One, where the Centurions will go part-time.

Leigh's fate would have been sealed had Salford been able to take the points from Bradford, but the Reds staged a terrific fightback after the Bulls were twice reduced to 12 men in the second half only to be beaten eventually 24-18 to leave themselves still sweating over the second relegation spot.

Bradford raced into a 12-0 lead inside 11 minutes courtesy of tries from Karl Pryce and Paul Deacon and they were 24-6 in front after an hour before late Salford tries from Andy Coley and Karl Fitzpatrick set up a tense finish. Bradford stand-off Iestyn Harris scored his side's match-winning try, forcing his way over after re-gathering his own grubber kick on the last tackle.

While Leigh are just 80 minutes away from an immediate return to the National League, Wakefield are now virtually safe after an injury-time try from David Solomona helped them secure a 34-28 win over Wigan at the JJB Stadium.

Two tries apiece from half-backs Danny Orr and Dennis Moran looked to have given the Warriors the points only for Solomona to put Rob Spicer over late on and then crash over himself in the dying seconds.

Wakefield coach Tony Smith, who has guided his side to three consecutive wins for the first time this year just a month after taking charge, defied medical advice to send an injured Solomona back on to the field. "They'd said on the bench that he couldn't go back on - he was badly winded - but I just told them I needed him," he said. "I knew it would take someone of his class to unlock the defence and it did."

The Wildcats are now level on points with the Warriors and only two points behind the sixth-placed London Broncos.