Leigh got out of jail in narrow win over Sheffield Eagles, says Aston

Mark Aston
Mark Aston
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Director of rugby Mark Aston says that league winners Leigh Centurions ‘got out of jail’ after Sheffield Eagles’ late defeat on Friday.

A rejuvenated Eagles almost pulled off back-to-back victories against the Championship’s top two, but a last gasp try denied Aston’s improving side an unlikely success.

The Eagles ran the Centurions close earlier in the campaign at the Leigh Sports Village, and once again they were left heartbroken after a performance packed with energy and endeavour.

“I am a little frustrated because I think we should have come away with two points,” Aston explained to The Star.

“Leigh got out of jail with the last play of the game to win the match. We won it, lost it, won it, lost it. It was the same at their place when we conceded a late try and I spoke before the game that I thought we could win it and I thought we had when we took the goal, but you have to play to the final whistle and we didn’t. There were two plays left to win the game and we came unstuck. It was disappointing as we put a lot of work in there.”

Despite the late setback, Aston took plenty of positives from another encouraging display.

After victories against the likes of Featherstone Rovers and London Broncos in recent weeks, his side are now finally showing their potential over a more consistent platform.

With just one game remaining of the regular season against Whitehaven next weekend, Aston’s side are now building some vital momentum for when the league splits as they bid to maintain their second tier status.

“There were a lot of positives and good performances, but we came up a little short,” Aston explained.

“We are all gutted. We were seconds away from winning. Leigh were never in the game in the first-half. They never really challenged us. Everything was going to plan at 16-4 up so to go in at half-time behind was very disappointing, but we came out firing again in the second half.”

Aston has confirmed that one of his two French trialists has returned to his native country. Brothers Hakim and Amini Miloudi had been training with the club, but Amini has returned. However Hakim is still here and Aston hasn’t ruled out potentially inviting him back next season.