Ryan Brierley scored a hat trick that took him over 200 career attempts
|Leigh (10) 26|
|Try: Sidlow, Brierley 3, Stein Goals: Brierley 3|
|Try: Lyne, Tanginoa, Kershaw Goals: Linoleum 3|
Ryan Brierley’s hat trick ensured that despite their impending relegation, Leigh Centurions gave their fans a moment to enjoy their win over Wakefield.
Leigh took the lead on attempts by Adam Sidlow and Brierley before Reece Lyne, Kelepi Tanginoa and Lee Kershaw gave Trinity an 18-10 lead.
Brierley scored two more for his triple before Sam Stone crossed as the home side roared back into the lead.
Wakefield fought to the end, but Leigh held on to his second league win.
This result in the penultimate round of a tough campaign for the Centurions was followed by a public criticism of the players by owner Derek Beaumont in his program notes for the game.
Whether or not the group were aware of the words, they displayed a level of intent and intensity that interim coach Kurt Haggerty would excite and stun a Trinity team that has made progress under Willie Poching.
Her attack, led by the electric Brierley, was not only able to conjure up points, but defensive zeal kept Trinity away on several occasions.
Iain Thornley made a big tackle to keep Lyne off a second hit, while Treble hero Brierley made a brilliant cover tack against Innes senior to prevent an attempt.
Only an injury to Nathan Mason would have ruined the afternoon for the Leythers as he was withdrawn before half-time.
Trinity had been superb under Poching’s command, winning four of the last five, but despite a late vortex at the end of one of the halves, they fell short.
Kershaw had to be replaced late in the first 40, another blow to Trinity’s full-backs, leaving Tom Johnstone out with a head injury.
Leigh head coach Kurt Haggerty:
“The performance today was fantastic, we had enough quality to take the win. It comes down to resilience and perseverance when things don’t go the way they are going, and believing in it and doing it for each other.
“We were broken before the game, so to get the win and get the points we made is a really good win.”
Haggerty on Beaumont’s criticism of the team:
“You can either take it one way or two, either cheer or go the other way, but it was really irrelevant to them, they just went out and played for each other.”
Wakefield interim chief Willie Poching told BBC Radio Leeds:
“It was pretty bad. In terms of our attitude, especially defensively, we didn’t have the right defenses to defend the way we needed it.
“We had line speed sporadically, but we just didn’t get enough control with our bodies in front, we didn’t win the floor.
“Unfortunately, thanks to Leigh, they ran hard and we didn’t catch up with them in the end.
Leigh: Brierley; Elliot, Hellewell, Thornley, Logan; Bell, mellor; Butler, Hood, Sidlow, Thompson, Stone, Whitbread
Exchange: Gerrard, Mason, Ellis, Ashworth
Wakefield: Hampshire; Senior, Arundel, Lyne, Kershaw; Miller, Lino; Battye, Kay, Green, Batchelor, Tanginoa, Crowther
Exchange: Wood, Fifita, Walker, Arona