Leigh Centurions 42
Barrow Raiders 30
LEIGH Centurions staged an incredible fightback to leave a Barrow Raiders side reeling in their wake in this Kingstone Press Championship clash.
But it was needed after their fans were stunned when the bottom club from Barrow blasted into a 22-0 lead on 35 minutes to leave the Centurions staring a humiliating defeat in the face and a dreadful blow to their hopes of challenging the top three in the division.
But with Sam Hopkins, Rob Parker and Ryan Duffy leading the pack Leigh clawed their way back into the game at half time and then after an arm wrestle of an opening second period blasted the Raiders with three converted tries in a devastating five minutes spell that set them on their way to victory.
Yet coach Paul Rowley was far from impressed in that opening period against a side that was desperate for a win and his interval words certainly had the desired effect.
Barrow came out of the traps and gave notice of their intentions with a sixth minute try from Liam Finch after Matt Gardner spilled a kick close to his own line. Haggerty then goaled.
Rob Parker and Michael Ostick went close, but with Liam Harrison and Butler going well, it was the Raiders who held out and then went close through a Mossop drive.
Leigh gave away penalties galore and Bradley Brennan powered in for a goaled try to double the Raiders lead before a Mossop burst put Liam Campbell in for a try Haggerty goaled. When Scott Kaighan grabbed a fourth Barrow try after another great raid , Haggerty missed the goal, but Leigh were in trouble.
Greg McNally pulled back a try for Ridyard to goal and then Sam Hopkins powered in for a goaled try to close the gap again before a Haggerty penalty ensured Barrow stopped the Leigh scoring run.
Trailing 24-12 at half time Leigh needed a good start to the second half, but for almost ten minutes it looked like the Raiders may thwart that ambition as they doggedly foiled the raids of Sean Penkywicz, Ridyard and Bob Beswick.
But then Leigh found their way through the visitors defence on 49 minutes when Beswick’s kick behind the advancing Raiders defence was snatched up by Brierley to score. Within three minutes a great Greg McNally break had Brierley in support and he put Ridyard under the posts and then Hopkins was quickest to Penkywicz’s close range kick. Ridyard goaled all three and suddenly Leigh had a six point lead.
Barrow pushed up field, but a Stuart Littler interception took Leigh upfield before Steve Maden was tackled on his back unable to ground the ball. But from the next play Penkywicz was not to be denied as the video referee confirmed the score for Ridyard to goal.
Barrow were a spent force and as Andy Thornley crashed in for Leigh’s seventh try they looked set to be denied even a bonus point. But when they did get possession with minutes remaining a kick from Campbell was latched onto by winger Mike Bacchus for a Haggerty goaled try to bring the game to a close.
Leigh Centurions: McNally; Maden, Littler, Gardner, Pownall; Ridyard, Beswick, Ostick, Penkywicz, Parker, Finnigan, Goulden, Duffy; subs (all used) - Brierley, Thornley, Hopkins. Taylor
Tries: Brierley (49), Ridyard (52), Hopkins (28,54), Penkywicz (61), Thornley (69). Goals: Ridyard 7/7
Tries: Finch (6), Brennan (14), Campbell (16) Kaighan ( 21),Bacchaus (79)
Goals: Haggerty 4/5
Half time: 12-24
Referee: Gareth Hewer