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The East Lancashire Road derby pitted the Salford Red Devils against the Leigh Leopards in an Easter Saturday early evening kick off as the side in seventh pace hosted their historical rivals who are currently in ninth after both sides have had an indifferent start to the season.

One of these sides would give their season a kick start with a precious win, the other would remain in the doldrums, the bookies made the home side the slight favourites but after only handicapping them by two points on the coupon they didn’t believe that there would be very much in it.

It was the first time that the two sides had met in 2024, with plenty up to grabs.

On six minutes Lachlan Lam was sin-binned for a pull-back on Ryan Brierley to deprive Leigh of their main play maker for ten minutes. Sneyd kicked the resulting penalty to edge his side into the lead.

The thirteenth minutes saw the first four pointer as Ryan Brierley took the pass from Cade Cust to go through a gap and launch himself at the line. Sneyd added the conversion for an 8-0 lead.

On the sound of a set restart Umyla Hanley took the pass on the wing after a break downfield by Matt Moylan and some fast hands from the last play the ball. Moylan pushed his conversion attempt wide of the uprights, Leigh still four points adrift.

The mercurial Brierley scored his, and Salford’s, second of the game as he weaved his way through the Leigh defence after taking a Cade Cust inside pass and wrongfooting two tacklers before going in. Sneyd added a third goal of the game for 14-4.

Ethan Ryan got inn on the scoring action on thirty-five as Salford exploited their left attack thanks to some excellent offloading and light footwork from Ryan to dance past the attempted tackles. Sneyd hit the mark again and Salford hit the twenty.

Ryan Brierley was binned with twenty seconds of the half remaining after obstructing a ball chasing Hanley. Moylan attempted a touchline penalty after the hooter and dropped his kick over the bar for 6-20 at the interval.

Fleet footed Marc Sneyd added a try to his goals as he took an offload and went past a couple of flailing Leigh defenders to ground. He added the conversion for 26-6, Salford in control of the game and cruising towards the win.

A great break down the wing from Chamberlain allowed the Leopards centre to find Lam in support who completed the remaining twenty metres with ease to score ten metres left of the uprights. Moylan added the conversion for 12-26 but it was still a massive ask for the Leopards to launch an effective comeback.

With twelve minutes remaining Hanley found himself in an acre of space after taking a Moylan pass to canter in and dot down. Moylan was wide with the conversion, Leigh still needed two converted tries and had only eleven minutes in which to get them.

Sneyd was tormenting Leigh and a high ball on seventy-three came backwards off a Salford head and into the hands of Ryan to ground. Sneyd was on target for a sixth time on the evening to ensure that the points were going to Salford as they joined the top half of the table on eight points, despite remaining in seventh place.

Hanley competed his hat-trick on seventy-six as he caught a Moylan kick to the corner on the full to carry the ball over the line. Moylan added the touchline goal, but it was too little and too late.

Leigh have just the one win so far this season as they struggle to get away from the bottom of the table. Salford deserved their win over their neighbours, and it was a crucial two points as they seek to keep in touch with the side who are trailblazing inside the top six.

Salford Red Devils: Brierley (2T, SB on 39), Ryan (2T), MacDonald, Lafai, Cross, Cust, Sneyd (T, 6G), Ormondroyd, Mellor, Wright, Stone, Watkins, Partington.  Subs: Bourouh, Vuniyayawa, Atkin, Shorrocks. 18th Man: Foster.

Leigh Leopards: O’Brien, Hanley (3T), Hardaker, Chamberlain, Charnley, Moylan (3G), Lam (T, SB on 6), Norman, Dwyer, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Hughes, Trout. Subs: McNamara, Nakubuwai, Davis, Baxter. 18th Man: Nisbet.

Half-Time: 20-6.

Full-Time: 32-22.

Score Progression: (SB), 2-0, 6-0, 8-0, 8-4, 12-4, 14-4, 18-4, 20-4, (SB), 20-6 : HT: 24-6, 26-6, 26-10, 26-12, 26-16, 30-16, 32-16, 32-20, 32-22 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Salford.

Referee: James Vella.

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 30th Mar 2024 7:20 PM | Views : 7027 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES