Leigh fight back to claim derby win at Salford

Leigh fight back to claim derby win at Salford

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Leigh Leopards celebrate
Leigh Leopards are now two points off Super League leaders Catalans Dragons
Salford (16) 22
Tries: Sio, Vuniyayawa, Ackers, Hellewell Goals: Sneyd (3)
Leigh (10) 24
Tries: Chamberlain, Leutele, Lam, Hardaker Goals: Reynolds (4)

High-flying Leigh Leopards fought back from 22-10 down to beat local rivals Salford in an exciting encounter.

Ken Sio put the Red Devils in front before Ed Chamberlain and Ricky Leutele hit back for Leigh but King Vuniyayawa and Andy Ackers crossed to give the home side a 16-10 half-time lead.

Ben Hellewell’s try gave them some breathing room but Lachlan Lam quickly got the Leopards’ back in touch.

Zak Hardaker’s effort levelled the game up before Ben Reynolds’ penalty won it.

Victory gave second-placed Leigh their first success away at Salford in almost 40 years, having last tasted victory there in September 1983.

Adrian Lam will now look to guide his side to a win that will end another long wait. They face St Helens in the Challenge Cup semi-final next Saturday, looking to reach a first final since 1971.

Sio gave the home side the lead with his 99th Super League try in the 11th minute, however, Leigh turned it around to lead 10 minutes later as first Chamberlain scored against his former side and then Leutele crashed over in the corner.

Salford, who also lost by two points at home to Leeds last week, reassumed the lead after Marc Sneyd’s 40-20 helped create great field position for Vuniyayawa to go over and then Ackers ran in from 10 metres out.

Hellewell grounded Brodie Croft’s grubber kick after the break as the home side extended their lead to 12 points but Lam touched down from Tom Amone’s pass and then Hardaker picked up a loose ball close to the Salford tryline to make it 22-22.

Sneyd saw a drop-goal attempt drift wide of the posts and the hosts were then made to pay for ill-discipline as dissent saw Reynolds able to kick for goal from 40 metres out and he made no mistake to secure a 12th win in 13 games for the rampant Leopards.

Salford remain seventh and face a tough trip to league leaders Catalans when they return to action on Saturday, 29 July.

Salford: Brierley, Sio, Cross, Lafai, Burgess, Croft, Sneyd, Ormondroyd, Ackers, Dupree, Stone, Addy, Atkin.

Interchanges: Vuniyayawa, Sidlow, Bourouh, Hellewell.

Leigh: O’Brien, Briscoe, Hardaker, Leutele, Charnley, Reynolds, Lam, Amone, Mellor, Mulhern, Chamberlain, Hughes, Asiata.

Interchanges: Nakubuwai, Holmes, Wilde, Davis.

Referee: Ben Thaler.

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