Centurions stun Bulldogs with flying start

Ryan Brierley scored a hat trick for Leigh against Batley
Ryan Brierley scored a hat trick for Leigh against Batley

Leigh Centurions 56 Batley Bulldogs 8

RYAN Brierley scored a hat-trick as Leigh recorded their 22nd consecutive victory over the last team to beat them at the Sports Village.

Jonathan Pownall crosses for Leigh against Batley

Jonathan Pownall crosses for Leigh against Batley

Centurions led 18-0 with only six minutes on the clock and continued to add to their lead regularly and by half-time were 38-4 up.

The second half failed to match these dizzy heights but Leigh did manage to pass the half century mark for the fifth time this season.

Leigh made several changes from the side which knocked Salford Red Devils out of the Challenge Cup and Gregg McNally was a rare absentee

at full-back, replaced by Jonny Pownall.

Sean Penkywicz and Fuifui Moimoi were other notable misses but Centurions were rarely in trouble against John Kear’s side, scoring 10

tries.

Brierley scored the first of his hat-trick after three minutes, racing 30 metres from the scrum. Martyn Ridyard added the conversion.

Straight from the restart, Adam Higson broke clear and his pass sent Brierley racing in again for a try which Ridyard goaled.

Centurions repeated the trick again, scoring from the kick off when the ball was worked quickly to the edges and Liam Kay raced clear.

With Ridyard again kicking the extras, Leigh lead 18-0 after just six minutes.

Batley stemmed the tide with a 16th minute try from former Wigan centre Shaun Ainscough after a kick to the corner.

But the respite was temporary as Leigh scored a further four tries before half-time.

Bob Beswick and Brierley combined to get Higson over before Tom Armstrong produced a fine finish following the initial break by Kay.

Full-back Pownall got in at the corner from Brierley’s long pass before Brierley himself completed his hat-trick with a try nine minutes before half-time. With Ridyard kicking five from seven, Leigh led 38-4.

The half ended sourly as Sam Barlow was sin-binned for two high tackles in quick succession. As Barlow left the field, Batley winger Wayne Reittie looked to reignite the row and he was spoken to by referee Joe Cobb.

In comparison the second half was pretty uneventful. Higson scored his second try seven minutes after the restart as he read Brierley’s kick to the corner, Ridyard again adding the goal.

Tries from Andrew Dixon and a second for Pownall took Leigh past the 50-mark before Batley completed the scoring with a try from Matt Fozard with eight minutes remaining.

Leigh ended the game with 12 men after Jake Emmitt was sinbinned for dissent.

Teams

Leigh: Pownall, Higson, Worthington, Kay, Ridyard, Brierley, Spencer, Beswick, Hopkins, Dixon, Haggerty, Barlow. Subs: Foster, Acton,

Wilkes, Emmitt

Batley: Morgan, Reittie, Bretherton, Squires, Ainscough, Southernwood, Leak, Hirst, Blake, Hesketh, Mitchell, Day, Chandler. Subs: Fozzard,

Lillycrop, Gledhill, Thackray

Referee: Joe Cobb

Attendance: 3.036

Pitch: Excellent

Weather: Bright and dry