Leigh 26- Haven 23
The Leigh chairman said afterwards that Haven had been "desperately
The Leigh fans were less understanding with scenes of spitting
and threats bandied about.
To quote from one Leigh fan on the message board: "I've
been a Leigh fan for over thirty years, and I think the stewards
handling of the situation was atrocious. So, sorry lads, we aren't
all like that! "
It is expected the RFL will be asked to comment on the situation.
On the pitch Haven had to hang on for just a minute to have won.
But Leigh's Paul Norman drove in for the match-winning try that
broke Cumbrian hearts and set up a dream tie for the winners
with Wigan Warriors.
From being 14-0 down Haven, missing so many top players, fought
back to take a 23-14 lead through Paul O'Neil's second try and
third conversion with just three minutes of normal time remaining
it was not to be Haven's day and somehow Leigh found the strength,
speed, resilience and a fair slice of luck to snatch a victory
that they didn't deserve.
Paul Cullen is such a class coach to have got so near to the
quarter finals with Lester, Fatialofa, Kiddie, Sherwen and Cox,
all out through injury. His young squad is so motivated it is
Marra hopes and prays the Board are even now offering Cullen
all he needs to ensure he stays with Haven for another year..or
It is understood McKinney suffered an injury that could take
him out of the frame for two weeks.
Tries from Irwin, Baldwin and our old chum Jon Roper put the
home side well ahead.But Whitehaven dug deep, with Leroy Joe
taking control as usual, and the shear guts of the Warriors forwards
started to pay dividends as Leigh went adrift.David Seeds had
a try disallowed for losing the ball over the Leigh line after
good work from Morton.But there was no denying him on 32 minutes
when Joe made the initial break, Morton supported and Seeds finished.Then
O'Neil scored and converted his own try. With 13 minutes remaining, Jackson, close to
the Leigh line, slipped the ball for Leigh Smith to power in
from close range, and with O'Neil goaling, the Warriors had the
Kirkbride added a field goal.
That man O'Neil then won a race for the touchdown and the try
that looked set to send Haven into the quarter-finals.
But then the horror finale
as Turley snatched a try from his own kick ahead and added the
goal points to close the gap before Paul Norman made the match-clinching
try. Turley converted to cap it all.
Haven :O'Neil, Devlin, Seeds,
Hill, L.Smith, Joe, Kirkbride, Cunningham, Jackson, Vaughan,
McKinney, Morton, G.Purdham, subs, King, Burgess, Miller, G.Smith.