BARROW RAIDERS 8 LEIGH CENTURIONS 52
RYAN Brierley scored five tries as Leigh ran up 52 points for the second week in a row, this time at Barrow.
The half-back, who scored a hat-trick against Batley last time out in a 52-12 success, was just one away from equalling the club record of six tries in a game which is jointly held by Jack Wood and Neil Turley
But this was far from a one man effort from Centurions.
In the pack, Jake Emmitt and Sam Barlow showed why Paul Rowley worked so hard to get them to Leigh in the offseason while Tommy Goulden and Bob Beswick worked tirelessly.
In dreadful conditions and on a sticky Craven Park pitch, Leigh started brightly with a try inside 90 seconds. Brierley nipped over after Barrow spilled a Martyn Ridyard kick. Ridyard, who went on to kick eight goals from nine attempts, added the conversion.
There was no sign of the points avalanche to come as Barrow responded in the 11th minute with a well-worked try. Dominic Speakman kicked to the corner and Scott Turner took the ball on the full to score an unconverted try.
Leigh chose to use the wind at their back with several downfield kicks which kept turning the big Barrow pack around. Most of the kicks went dead but with Leigh’s defensive line in place for the 20 metre restart, Barrow struggled to hurt their visitors from distance.
Although Barrow were completing their sets they weren’t challenging Leigh in the danger zones.
Centurions punished Barrow in brutal fashion with four tries before half-time which silence the normally vocal home crowd.
Brierley scored his second, cashing in on an untimely slip by Barrow forward Liam Harrison before Beswick crashed in after Brierley’s disguised pass.
Ridyard’s defence splitting ball found Goulden in enough space to score then four minutes before half-time, a tremendous break by the again impressive Matt Sarsfield was finished off from distance by Gregg McNally.
With Ridyard finishing the half with five goals from as many attempts Leigh looked set for the win at 30-4.
With some harsh words from Barrow’s coach Anthony Murray – a former Leigh player – apparently ringing in their ears, the home side started the second half brightly. But their enthusiasm looked to have been crushed when Brierley completed his hat-trick in the 48th minute, racing clear after a move at the scrum.
A fourth try from Brierley soon followed before Barrow responded with Turner getting onto a kick to the corner,
Tom Spencer powered his way over from five metres out in the 63rd minute and Ridyard’s conversion took Leigh towards the half century.
Moments later, Brierley scooped up a wayward pass and raced in from half-way for try number five. Ridyard was unable to add the goal, his only miss of the afternoon,