Championship Round-up 18 – Leigh return home in style

Leigh Centurions returned home in sparking form to reassert their credentials ahead of the ‘Middle 8’, with an impressive 58-18 win over Sheffield Eagles.

Paul Rowley’s men were 18-0 up within just 16 minutes after Martyn Ridyard converted early scores from Greg Worthington, Gregg McNally and Ryan Brierley, before Adam Higson went over on 35 minutes.

Sheffield, who’s boss Mark Aston head said the Centurions were ‘in decline’ a matter of weeks ago, finally hit back as Sam Smeaton went over on 35 minutes, but Liam Kay extended the hosts’ advantage on the stroke of half time.

Dave Peterson and Duane Straughier went over early in the first half for the visitors, who were down to 12 men after Cory Aston‘s dismissal three minutes in. 

But they had little effect on Leigh’s momentum as the hosts ran in a further five tries, McNally and Kay both sealing hat tricks before Tom Armstrong‘s score – all converted by Ridyard – meaning Misi Taulapapa‘s score on the hooter had little impact on the outcome. 

Meanwhile in Cumbria, Bradford Bulls kept up the pressure on Leigh at the top with a hard-fought 38-16 win over Workington Town.

After two tries from Adam Henry and one from Adam Sidlow inside 23 minutes, the Bulls looked set for a comfortable afternoon, but Town hauled themselves back into the game as half time approached, with a quickfire brace from Sam Powell leaving the Bulls 16-10 up at the interval.

Town grappled with their former Super League opponents for the majority of the second half, but a devastating seven-minute spell from the visitors which saw them score four tries just after the hour, brought James Lowes’ men clear – Jake Mullaney (2) Epalahame Lauaki and Danny Williams going in; meaning Connor Farrell’s late score was only a consolation.

In West Yorkshire, Halifax retained their place in the top four in emphatic fashion as they overcame Dewsbury Rams 46-16 at the Tetley’s Stadium.

Richard Marshall’s men were in fine form from the off as they ran in three tries inside 25 minutes through Mitch Cahalane, Dane Manning and Scott Murrell.

Dewsbury, bolstered by the introduction of Toby Adamson and James Glover, battled back thereafter thanks to tries from Adamson and Anthony Thackeray, but Manning crossed again shortly before half time to ensure his side went into half time 12 points up. 

After an even start to the second half, Halifax romped further ahead with tries from Ben Johnston and Ross Divorty, before Jason Crookes, on his 100th career appearance, handed the Rams a lifeline on the hour.

However, Halifax extinguished any hopes of a home comeback in the last ten minutes with Murrell and Cahalane both going over once more ahead of their massive clash with London Broncos next week.

In London, the Broncos continued their resurgent form of late with a comfortable 34-12 win over Hunslet Hawks.

In front of a healthy 751 crowd on the club’s Heritage Day, the men from the south went 12-0 up inside 15 minutes after converted tries from Elliott Kear and Wes Naiqama. But, Hunslet drew level within 20 minutes following tries from Matty Gee and Robbie Ward, both converted by Jordan Lilley, leaving the scores level at the break.

However, London’s superior fitness shone through in the second period as they recorded a fourth successive win with tries from Oscar Thomas and Rhys Williams either side of Naiqama completing his hat trick.

Finally on Sunday, Whitehaven came out on top 24-12 as they took on fellow relegation-threatened Batley Bulldogs.

Haven enjoyed a stellar first period, with Grant Gore going over early on before a Craig Calvert double put the hosts 18-0 up at the interval.

Shaun Ainscough scored shortly after half time to give the visitors some hope, but Louis Jouffret went over on the hour before making it four from four with the boot to give James Coyle‘s men an 18-point lead as Joe Chandler‘s late score was little more than a consolation for the ‘Dogs.

Finally, on Friday night, Featherstone Rovers recorded their third win of the season at the BigFellas Stadium as they overcame winless Doncaster 54-14.

Kyle Kesik handed the visitors a shock lead early on, but Rovers were soon ahead thanks to a quickfire double from Ian Hardman.

Paul Sykes, Thomas Minns and Remy Marginet also went over before the break to all-but end the tie as a contest.

 

Despite Peter Fox opening the scoring in the second period, it became one-way traffic as Fev clicked through the gears; Jamie Cording and Gareth Moore going over alongside a double from Jy Hitchcox. Sykes and Marginet also secured doubles, meaning Kesik’s second try, on the hooter, was fruitless.

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