Centurions stay top after ill tempered clash

Fuifui Moimoi of Leigh Centurions on the charge against Halifax. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography
Fuifui Moimoi of Leigh Centurions on the charge against Halifax. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography

Kingstone Press Championship leaders Leigh Centurions recovered from a half-time deficit to beat Halifax 22-14 in a match that saw both teams finish with 10 men following a huge brawl.

The home side were already down to 12 men after centre Tom Armstrong was sent off for an alleged head-butt when the match at Leigh Sports Village erupted 10 minutes from the end.

Leigh forward Jamie Acton was sent off, along with Halifax’s Steve Tyrer and Andy Bracek while Mitch Cahalane (Halifax) and Kurt Haggerty (Leigh) were shown yellow cards by referee Matt Thomason.

Tries from Scott Murrell and Ben Heaton hinted at a possible Halifax upset as the visitors carved out a shock 10-6 interval lead but Liam Kay, Greg Worthington, Tommy Goulden and Bob Beswick all crossed as the Centurions stormed back and Ryan Brierley (2) and Martyn Ridyard added goals.

Heaton scored his second try after the break but the Centurions eased to a 24th straight win ahead of next Sunday’s Challenge Cup-tie at Wakefield.

Second-placed Bradford Bulls maintained the pressure on Leigh with a 32-16 win at Whitehaven, their 11th win in 12.

The Bulls were 16-10 ahead at the break and Adrian Purtell (2), Danny Williams (2), Lee Gaskell and Danny Addy all claimed tries with Ryan Shaw landing four goals.

Whitehaven’s three tries came from Scott McAvoy, Connor Holliday and James Newton with Ed Chamberlain converting two of them.

Fourth-placed Featherstone Rovers had the chance to close the gap on Sheffield Eagles and they took it in a thrilling encounter in the capital.

Rovers shaded a 13-try thriller as they won 40-32 at London Broncos whose second successive home defeat at The Hive sees them lose further ground on the top five.

The visitors had seven different try scorers as Ben Blackmore, Jy Hitchcox, Andy Bostock, Jamie Cording, Luke Teasdale, Nathan Chappell, and Jack Bussey all crossed with Paul Sykes adding six goals.

Broncos managed six tries themselves through Daniel Harrison (2), Jamie Thackray, Rhys Williams, Ben Hellewell and Jarrod Sammut with Wes Naiqama converting four of them.

Dewsbury Rams stay fifth after running in 30 unanswered second-half points to complete a comfortable 40-4 victory over Hunslet Hawks.

The Rams only led 10-4 at the break but they eventually ran in seven tries with Dale Morton (3), Luke Adamson, Anthony Thackeray, Toby Adamson, and Brett Seymour all on the scoresheet.

Seymour added six goals with Charlie Martin managing Hunslet’s solitary score as the Hawks slip to ninth.

Batley Bulldogs moved into eighth place with a 23-10 win at lowly Workington Town.

Wayne Reittie, Alistair Leak and James Craven crossed for the Bulldogs with the boot of Scott Leatherbarrow adding 11 points to keep Workington at arm’s length.

Workington’s tries came from Callum Phillips and Carl Forber with the latter adding a goal and the Cumbrians have now won only two of their 12 league games this season.