GRAND FINAL DAY LOCKED IN | Three big fixtures next Sunday at Sydney's ANZ Stadium! Burleigh and Ill...
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Leigh waved goodbye to Super League as they completed the season in familiar style - with a 14-20 defeat to Salford.
This was a gutsy effort from a side with only five points to their name and which has played under three different coaches in 2005.
It needed an Anthony Stewart try in the closing stages to finally seal the win for Salford who had found the Centurions in defiant mood.
There was little to choose between the sides in a scrappy first half which appropriately ended 10-10.
Salford, with Luke Robinson working hard in the middle of the park, broke the deadlock in the 12th minute.
It was Robinson's long pass which gave David Hodgson room to score in the corner. Chris Charles could not complete the conversion.
Leigh cut the deficit soon after when Nick Owen kicked a penalty following a high tackle by Andy Coley on Darren Fleary.
The goal lifted the home side who started to enjoy more attacking possession and in the 23rd minute they made their pressure count.
Leigh full-back John Wilshere, who has already joined Salford for next season, made the initial break and Paul Rowley was in support to finish off a 50-metre attack. Owen was unable to convert.
It looked as if Leigh would extend their lead as they continued to test the Salford defence but they were caught out when Robinson made 60 metres after taking a quick tap penalty.
Leigh scrambled back in defence but Robinson was still able to get a pass away to the supporting Hodgson who scored a try which Charles converted.
But the scores were all square again just before half-time when Leigh's busy scrum-half John Duffy burrowed over from close range but Owen missed the conversion.
Salford looked brighter after the restart but they were struggling to shake off a Leigh side to claim only their third Super League win.
A grubber kick by Robinson sat up nicely for centre Stuart Littler who had the simple task of putting the ball down for a try which restored Salford's lead at 14-10. Charles added his second conversion of the night.
Still Leigh refused to fold and winger Steve Maden squeezed in at the corner for a try which cut the deficit to just two.
But as the game entered the final quarter, Salford finally made the points safe with a second try for Stewart.
Leigh (10) 14. Tries: Rowley, J. Duffy, Maden. Goals: Owen.
Salford (10) 20. Tries: Hodgson 2, Littler, Stewart. Goals: Charles 2.
Leigh: Wilshere, Maden, Jackson, Cooper, Owen, Forber, J. Duffy, Fleary, Rowley, Sturm, Stapleton, Leafa, Kent.
Replacements: Wilkes, Marshall, Stevens, J. Duffy.
Salford: Fitzpatrick, Langi, Stewart, Littler, Hodgson, Beverley, Robinson, Coley, Alker, Highton, Brocklehurst, Shipway, Charles.
Replacements: McAvoy, Baldwin, Haggerty, Rutgerson.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury)