The Big One!

LEIGH Centurions head to Blackpool on Sunday for the club’s most important game in five years.

They take on Halifax in the Northern Rail Cup Final and with a tick in the box for a Super League licence bid for the winners, it is Leigh’s most important match since they won the competition in 2006.

But with the club in current perilous financial state, a victory would also go some considerable way to helping attract potential new backers to not only get them through this season but to set them up for the future.

And acting chief executive Trevor Barton MBE said: “It is great to see the tickets being virtually sold out for Blackpool and the merchandise, in order to maximise that support, is flying off the shelves.

“We need every bit of support you can manage.”

But all that is off the field and behind the scenes, and for the army of Leigh fans set to head to Bloomfield Road on Sunday it is very much about what happens on the pitch.

The players and coaching staff have already declared they will not be claiming any bonuses that may come their way, should they win the trophy, because they are just as desperate to see the club survive as the fans.

That is the type of spirit that the Centurions Coach, Ian Millward feels will help give his side a slight edge when the game kicks off at 5pm.

“We are raring to go and really looking forward to the game,” he said.

“The win at Batley was a really big one for us as we had been sitting on the coach for three hours and then had to get on with the game. But we all stayed focussed on the bus and got an early score that set us on our way.

“We have a really strong spirit at the club and everyone is playing for each other. When it gets tough that is when it counts, and I think it will count on Sunday.”

Halifax are the only side to beat Leigh this season, and they did it in spectacular fashion, in front of the TV cameras by 36-16.

“Halifax are a good side,” confirmed Millward. “And they were the champs last season. But there was a lot going on at the club when they came and beat us, with the chairman having resigned and all that, and we were caught out.

“But this time we are not letting anything get in the way of concentrating on what needs to be done.

“We have a fully fit squad and that is not something that has happened too often in the past and my hardest task will be who to leave out.

“That will be really tough.

“But we are in the final with a lot riding on it.

“We need to go out there and do what we can do, and hopefully the rest should look after itself.”

Tickets can be obtained by calling 0844 856 1113