Championship round-up: Leigh lose at Halifax, top four all win

Leigh’s woes continued as they were put to the sword 38-18 by Halifax at The Shay.

Richard Marshall’s men led 28-0 at half time with back-rower Shane Grady crossing for a hat-trick of tries to help send the Centurions to their fifth defeat in six games.

The opening 20 minutes didn’t suggest such a one-sided outcome would follow, with Leigh asking questions of the Halifax line early on and then the hosts opening the scoring through Shane Grady on 12 minutes.

Leigh were getting in to penalty trouble and as soon as Halifax started completing sets, Scott Murrell’s kicking game put the Centurions under pressure.

But it was the brilliant running of the returning Ben Johnston, who scythed through a gap and then waited to put Brandon Moore over for 12-0.

The visitors imploded in the final 10 minutes of the first half, though, conceding 16 points.

Former Super League forward Simon Grix was controlling the pack and his ball set Grady over for his second try, and they made it back to back scores when Ben Heaton wrestled out of a tackle to crash over the line.

It was down the left hand side that Halifax were enjoying a lot of success and Grady would get his hat-trick before half-time. Johnston’s scruffy kick through was hacked on by Will Sharp and Grady fought his own man off to then kick the ball further on and grounded it in goal.

It was tough to see a way back for Leigh at 28-0 down at the interval, though they did get on the board on 47 minutes when Sharp gifted the ball to Drew Hutchison and he sent Craig Hall away for his first try in Centurions’ colours.

Halifax were dominant though and Leigh were camped in their own 20 metres.

However, they got their reward for defending 36 consecutive tackles when Hall plucked a Murrell kick out the air and went 90 metres unopposed to reduce arrears to 28-12.

But any hopes of a comeback were diminished when Steve Tyrer scored in the corner, which was compounded by winger Matty Dawson-Jones then being sent to the sin bin for dissent.

Rhys Evans grabbed a consolation before Tyrer rounded things off with his second try to take his points tally for the afternoon to 18.

Toulouse and London continue to set the pace in the Championship, thrashing Dewsbury 40-20 and Batley 68-12 respectively.

Rochdale came from 12-0 down at half time to beat Barrow 24-12 for their first win of the season.

Featherstone and Toronto consolidated their top four berths with wins over Swinton (32-18) and Sheffield (44-10).

Halifax: Woodbury-Hall, Saltonstall, Heaton, Tyrer, Sharp, Murrell, Johnston, Springer, Kaye, Murray, Grix, Grady, Fairbank. Subs: Moore, Barber, Jones, Maher.

Leigh: Hall, Dawson, Crooks, Matautia, Evans, Hutchison, Lilley, Richards, Higham, Hansen, Larroyer, B Thompson, J Thompson. Subs: Hood, Acton, Patrick, Lovett.

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