28th March 2008, 20:00
Leigh 8 Merthyr Tydfil 2
Reprinted from the "Evening Express" written on the day.
Northern Union Cup
LEIGH V MERTHYR
At Leigh, in bright, sunny weather. Teams:
Leigh Back, Clarkson; three-quarter backs, Neville, Bennett, Tom Johnson, and Sam Johnson; half-backst Whittaker and Molyneux; forwards, O'Neill, Lee, Gallop, Willstanley, Ashton, and Smith.
Merthyr: Back, Paddison; threw-quarter backs, James, P. Thomas, Cowmeadow, and Smith; half-backs, Rees and Harrison; forwards, Miller. D. Thomas, Jones, R. Thomas, Bevan, and Miller.
The teams have not previously met this season. Leigh won the toss, and elected to play with the wind and sun in their favour. A smart passing movement by the visitors ended in James being tackled at the corner. From the ensuing scrummage Leigh were penalised, and Jones kicked a goal before the game was five minutes old. Resuming, Leigh were again penalised, and Merthyr attacked, until Whittaker dribbled away to midfield. Winstanley raced away down the touch line and passed to Neville, who was bowled over near the corner flag. Smith next got hold, and after a fine run gave to Nevill, who scored, Clarkson failing at goal. Merthyr dribbled to the Leigh quarters, and when nearing; the line the ball rolled into touch. Leigh pressed, but their efforts were nullified by frequent penalties. A forward rush by Leigh was cleverly stopped by Paddison, who cleared finely.
Half-time score: G. T. Pts.
Leigh 0 1 3
Merthyr 1 0 2
In the second half Leigh faced the wind and sun, but showed greatly improved form, and after fine passing Bennett was "held up under the goal. However, Merthyr were penalised, and Molyneux placed a, goal. Leigh attacked again, and Sam Johnson made a lifty kick, followed up, regained possession of the ball, and scored a fine try no goal resulting. Merthyr then pressed hard, and Smith had hard lines in being knocked into touch near the Leigh line. After a round of passing for several minutes Leigh were unable to clear their lines. Amid much excitement Harrison rushed for the line but was overwhelmed. Eventually Whjttaker removed the danger by a good run, and Leigh dribbled to the end when Sam Johnson just failed to dribble over, Paddison kicking the ball into touch.
Final score: G. T. Pts
Leigh 1 2 8
Merthyr 1 0 2
The Leigh v. Merthyr game was very poor from a scientific point of view, very little good play being shown.
Leigh had to work desperately hard to score, for Merthyr tackled grandly, and nipped many a promising movement in the bud.
Merthyr ware alternately good and poor, their great fault was lack of finish. In the open -they passed well, but when they got near the line they seemed to lose their heads.
Paddison was not over safe at back, but Cowmeadow and Harrison played well.
The forwards fairly held their own in the packs, but were not so smart in the loose as Leigh.
Clarkson, the Leigh back, played magnificently, and averted danger repeatedly, when a slip would have been fatal.
Whitaker was very tricky at half, but Molyneux was poor. The heavy ground and greasy ball were probably responsible for the scrappy nature.
Hull. 19pts.: Wakefield Trinity, nil.
Hunslet, 8pts.; Barrow, nil.
Broughton Rangers, 7pts.; Warrington, 2pts.