Last night Leigh Leopards edged Hull FC in the closest game of the night.
The early exchanges saw both sides waste territory but that deadlock was broken on the 10th minute when full-back Gareth O’Brien scored following a clever dummy.
Hardaker converted and then added a penalty to make it 8-0 just minutes later. Come the 20th minute Tom Briscoe added another on the right wing, stretching the lead to 12-0.
Hull fired back through Adam Swift before that man Josh Charnley scored his 17th try of the season after Hull gave them possession and territory.
Before the break Darnell McIntosh scored his own diving finish which Liam Sutcliffe converted, with Jake Clifford heading off with a HIA, to make the game 16-10 as the sides headed into the sheds.
It was this that unravelled the black and whites. Leigh took the opportunity to add a penalty when presented with a chance from in front of the sticks and Hardaker’s two points took the game to 18-10, and beyond one converted try. Just five minutes later though they played a scrum from in front of the sticks and sent it wide to that man Josh Charnley again whose try meant that he went top of the charts for tries in the league. There was a flurry from Hull but the game was put of FC’s reach when Joe Mellor broke in the 75th minute and scored under the posts to wrap up the win.
Clifford’s loss undoubtedly hurt Hull and will be a massive blow headed into next week’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against St Helens.