WINGER BEN Jones-Bishop’s 100th career try capped a tremendous Wakefield Trinity fightback in a 28-24 win over visitors Leigh Centurions last night.
After trailing early on, Trinity scored back-to-back tries to lead at the end of the first quarter, but then conceded three touchdowns in nine minutes – all from close-range through weak goalline defence – to go in at the break 24-12 down.
A massive improvement was needed in the second half and Trinity delivered, dominating throughout and scoring three unanswered tries, including former Leeds, Harlequins and Salford man Jones-Bishop’s controversial winner with 14 minutes left.
Wakefield got off to the worst possible start, conceding the opening try to Ben Reynolds, from another ex-Castleford man Danny Tickle’s pass, after five minutes.
Reynolds also converted, but Wakefield went close to an equaliser through Mitch Allgood, who was pulled down just short and then Dean Hadley forced his way over from acting-half, but was held up.
Hadley had been playing in the second-row during his spell on loan from Hull, but started at hooker.
Liam Finn, who had been left out against Leeds six days earlier, made his first start of the season in the halves and Jacob Miller dropped to the bench.
Trinity gave a debut to prop Keegan Hirst, who came off the bench in the second half.
Joe Arundel scored Wakefield’s opener on 18 minutes, being in the right place to collect David Fifita’s offload following a mistake by Ryan Hampshire.
Williams’ kick levelled the scores and Wakefield were in front three minutes later. Tom Johnstone’s break and quick play-the-ball led to a penalty and from that Finn’s long pass picked out Scott Grix and he threw a dummy and then stepped through a gap for a fine touchdown which Williams improved.
Wakefield received four of the first five penalties, but back-to-back awards gave Leigh a leg up back into the contest, carrying them close enough to the line for Mickey Higham to duck over from acting-half.
That was a poor try for Wakefield to concede and the next, almost immediately, was just as bad, Sam Hopkins exploiting some weak defence from Higham’s pass.
Reynolds converted both and was involved in the build up to Ben Crooks’s try six minutes before the break, following a high tackle by Craig Huby on Harrison Hansen.
Hampshire provided the final pass and the conversion made it 24-12 at half-time.
At that stage Leigh looked in complete control, but the gap was halved eight minutes into the second half when Johnstone cut through the defence from Grix’s pass after good work by Finn and Williams added the extras.
Leigh winger Matty Dawson crossed, but the pass from Hampshire was ruled forward and that proved a turning point.
Trinity levelled almost immediately through Jacob Miller, who had just come off the bench, from Finn’s kick and then Jones-Bishop reached over from a kick by Williams.
He appeared to touch down just short, but referee Campbell indicated a try and video official Ben Thaler agreed.
Williams could not convert and missed with a penalty with nine minutes left, but Trinity held on for what could prove to be a big win in the battle for the top-eight.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix, Jones-Bishop, Arundel, Tupou, Johnstone, Williams, Finn, Allgood, Hadley, Fifita, Ashurst, Kirmond, Arona. Subs Hirst, Huby, Wood, Miller.
Leigh Centurions: Hampshire, Higson, Crooks, Brown, Dawson, Reynolds, Drinkwater, Hock, Higham, Acton, Tickle, Vea, Hansen. Subs Pelissier, Green, Hopkins, Burr.
Referee: Chris Campbell (Widnes).