A win for the Leigh Centurions over the York City Knights at the Leigh Sports Village would move then a step closer to guaranteeing top spot in early September, but a win for the City Knights would guarantee their top six finish and their place in the play-offs.
Leigh were massive favourites against the sixth placed side with York getting a forty-eight point start on the handicap coupon, no one giving the City Knights even the sniff of a chance of win as the Centurions bandwagon was expected to roll straight over the top of them.
It looked like it would be an easy afternoon for the home side but nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to witness.
Leigh created the first try out of nothing with Lachlan Lam taking a called Aekins pass, in a move initiated by Joe Mellor, on five minutes to ground. Krisnan Inu added the extras for a 6-0 lead, going with the pundits’ expectations from the first whistle.
Mellor grabbed the second for himself just before the quarter game mark as he waltzed past Jack Teanby off a Tom Amone for a simple score from five metres out. Inu added the conversion for a 12-0 lead.
Within a couple of minutes Mellor was over for his second, this time off a Lam pass, as Leigh tightened the noose, it was all way too easy for the Centurions. Inu again added the extras to stretch the lead to eighteen points.
A charged down kick gave York some hope and as they moved downfield the ball ended up in the hands of Joe Brown to dive over in the corner. The Jamie Ellis kick hit the upright and ricocheted out.
But it was brief respite as Leigh kept the ball alive on the next set, with offloads allowing Sam Stone to take full advantage for the four-pointer. Inu made it four from four for 24-4, the game already over as a contest.
York were outpaced again on thirty-three with Edwin Ipape moving the ball to the right, Ed Chamberlain stepping inside before heading for the corner to score. Inu put his touchline conversion between the uprights to bring up the thirty.
The sixth Leigh try came on the stroke of half time with Ipape breaking downfield and then providing the pass for Mark Ioane to go over for a simple score. Inu added the conversion for 36-4 at the interval, the two sets of fans treated/suffering a point a minute first half.
Ipape broke down the middle and after busting three tackles found Iaone in support for a first try of the second half which reflected the final try of the first. Inu added the conversion for 42-4.
The progression continued on forty-seven with Chamberlain taking a Stone pass and getting his second of the afternoon despite the attention of three York tacklers. Inu added his eighth try of the afternoon from eight attempts.
Only two further minutes had passed when Joe Mellor completed his hat-trick as he ran in on the angle and shrugged off the attempted tackles. Inu added the conversion for a fifty-point lead.
Every time Leigh got the ball they were scoring and next over the whitewash was a flying Kai O´Donnell scoring just to the right of the posts and giving Inu a simple conversion, his tenth of the game, for 60-4 with still over twenty minutes remaining.
A length of the field try after Ipape, returning the kick-off, found Stone in support to go in for his second as York players stood around with their hands on their hips. Inu´s eleventh try of the game made it 66-4.
Mellor was the provider a couple of minutes later as Keenan Brand became the seventh Leigh try scorer of the afternoon with his first touch of the ball off the substitutes bench. Inu missed his first conversion of the afternoon to prove that he is human, the ironic boos rang around the stadium.
The thirteenth try came on seventy-three with Adam Sidlow crashing through the York defence to score under the sticks and give Inu a simple conversion for 76-4.
The eighty points were up when Aekins went in and again Inu added the conversion for 82-4.
The first try from a winger came on seventy-six with Blake Ferguson finding space to cross wide and sprint over in the corner. Inu added the conversion from wide.
Inu added a sixteenth try for 92-4, an absolute massacre. Inu added the conversion, his fifteenth try of the game and with seconds of the game remaining Smith went over for 98-4. Inu added the conversion to bring up the hundred, Leigh winning by 100-4.
If anyone had any doubt about Leigh Centurions being the top side in the Championship, they were dispelled today as they put sixth placed York City Knights to the sword. This was the clubs biggest ever win, beating a 92-2 win over Keighley in April 1996, and Krisnan Inu beat Michael Stacey´s goals in a game record which had stood since 1976. York simply had no answer and could count on one hand the number of times that they´d had the ball in hand in the second half.
Leigh Centurions: Aekins (T), Ferguson (T), Chamberlain (2T), Inu (T, 16G), Charnley, Mellor (3T), Lam (T), Sidlow (T), Smith (T), Amone, Wardle, Stone (2T), Asiata. Subs: Ipape, Ioane (2T), O´Donnell (T), Brand (T).
York City Knight: Marsh, Brown (T), Glover, Ogden, Towse, Harris, Ellis, Teanby, Jubb, Michael, Stock, Antrobus, Clarkson. Subs: Inman, Dixon, Porter, Harrison.
Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0, 16-0, 18-0, 18-4, 22-4, 24-4, 28-4, 30-4, 34-4, 36-4 : HT : 40-4, 42-4, 46-4, 48-4, 52-4, 54-4, 58-4, 60-4, 64-4, 66-4, 70-4, 74-4, 76-4, 80-4, 82-4, 86-4, 88-4, 92-4, 94-4, 98-4, 100-4 : FT.
Lead Exchanges: Leigh.
Referee: Robert Hicks.