26th May 2018, 22:00 | championship
Toronto Wolfpack and Leigh Centurions pulled the curtain down on a pulsating opening day’s action in the Betfred Championship as Summer Bash returned to Bloomfield Road in Blackpool.
The Centurions had led 16-6 at the break and were then 22-12 up following tries from Man of the Match Ben Crooks and Jack Owens, but the Canadians hit back in the final 20 minutes.
Nick Rawsthorne and Olsi Krasniqi then went over to reduce the deficit to 22-26 before Leigh were reduced to 12 men for the final 10 minutes as Peter Mata’utia was sent to the sin bin.
Cory Paterson then crossed in the corner to level the scores before Ryan Brierley put the leaders ahead with a tricky kick from out wide.
But Leigh had the chance to snatch a draw on 80 minutes after a penalty was conceded from 35 yards but Ben Reynolds couldn’t hold his nerve and pulled the attempt wide, as Wolfpack held on to extend their lead at the top to seven points.
Earlier in the afternoon, Halifax pulled off a similar comeback win to defeat West Yorkshire rivals Featherstone Rovers 24-18.
Fax had led 14-0 at the break but tries from Anthony Thackeray, Matty Wildie and Gareth Hock had put John Duffy’s side 18-14 up.
But late efforts from Ben Johnston and Scott Murell swung the balance back in Fax’s favour as Richard Marshall’s side took the points.
The first Betfred Championship fixture of Saturday saw Sheffield Eagles take a 38-22 win over Barrow Raiders, including a hat-trick from Cory Aston.
Menzie Yere, Jake Spedding, Corey Makelim and Joshua Toole also crossed for the Eagles.
Saturday’s Summer Bash action was opened by the first ever Women’s Super League game to be held at the event. Bradford Bulls Women collected a 46-22 win against Featherstone Rovers Ladies.
The day’s action was watched by a total crowd of 7,877 fans inside Bloomfield Road.
The action continues on Sunday, with Toulouse Olympique v London Broncos (1pm), Rochdale Hornets v Swinton Lions (3:15pm) and Batley Bulldogs v Dewsbury Rams (5:30pm). You can follow it all live on Sky Sports Arena.