Rugby League: Davies holds down Leigh: Late show puts Warrington back into second place
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Wednesday 23 March 1994
LEIGH are destined for relegation, but they are giving the First Division's elite the fright of their lives on the way, writes Dave Hadfield.
The bottom club had beaten Bradford and taken Wigan all the way in their last two games, and it was not until Jonathan Davies's second try five minutes from time that Warrington made sure of a win that takes them back into second place. Davies aside though, Leigh were the better team at Hilton Park last night.
In the first half, both sides were forced to settle for a penalty apiece. Warrington's came from Mark Meadows' high tackle on Kelly Shelford, and Leigh's well-deserved equaliser from John Gunning arrived after a long period of pressure caught John Thursfield offside.
The try that separated the teams at half-time was pure Welsh gold, Allan Bateman bursting out of his own 25 four minutes before the break and sending Davies, back after a two- match absence, on a 65-yard dash to the line. Davies added the conversion to his earlier penalty.
Leigh got their just reward for some admirably adventurous play when a splendidly sustained handling move led to Gunning sending Dave Webster in.
Warrington were rocking but felt a little more comfortable when Davies kicked his third goal. Davies's dart through a rare gap from a Kevin Ellis pass clinched it, but Leigh could be proud of their efforts.
Leigh: Webster; Cheetham, Hanger, Sarsfield, Pratt; Gunning (Blakeley, 66), Pendlebury; Costello, Rowley, Meadows (Baldwin, 50), Collier, Daniel (Meadows, 61), Martin.
Warrington: Penny; Forster, Bateman, Davies, Myler (Roper, 76); Ellis, Mackey; Teitzel (Darbyshire, 55), Thursfield, Phillips, Jackson, Sanderson, Shelford.
Referee: S Cross (Hull).
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