Kay inspires Leigh to convincing win

Leigh celebrate winning the Championship Leaders Shield
Leigh celebrate winning the Championship Leaders Shield

Leigh Centurions 66 Doncaster 10

LIAM Kay scored five tries as Leigh picked up the Kingstone Press Championship League Leaders’ Shield for a second successive year with a convincing win over Doncaster.

The Championship’s top versus bottom clash went exactly to script as Leigh produced a stunning second half display which included three tries back-to-back which took the score from 22-4 to 4-4 without Doncaster touching the ball.

Leigh made seven changes from the side that beat Dewsbury on Wednesday evening but were still a class above their Yorkshire opponents.

Paul Rowley’s men haven’t been beaten at the Sports Village for two seasons and they took the lead after just six minutes. Kay, who spent time at Doncaster on dual registration from Wakefield a couple of years ago, scored in the corner from Mathias Pala’s pass.

Four minutes later, Ryan Brierley and Gregg McNally combined to send Adam Higson in at the opposite corner. Martyn Ridyard added the conversion.

Eleven minutes before half-time, Doncaster responded when a kick to the corner by Paul Mennell which was pounced on by winger Peter Fox.

But Leigh hit back with two tries in three minutes. Kay scored a second after chasing down Ridyard’s downfield kick then he set up Gregg McNally with a mazy run up the touchline. Ridyard again goaled.

Leigh then enjoyed a remarkable few minutes which saw them score three tries without Doncaster touching the ball.

Brierley went in for a long range interception before Kay set up McNally with a run and kick ahead. Straight from the restart, the ball was worked left to Kay and he sprinted 80 metres for a remarkable try.

Centurions continued to turn the screw and a short ball to Gareth Hock saw the loose forward power through from close range.

Micky Higham broke clear before sending Ridyard away for a try in the 60th minute then another interception. Kay raced in for his fourth try after Ridyard took a wayward pass and sprinted away before he passed the ball inside.

With seven minutes remaining, Doncaster scored their second try through Liam Welham which was converted by Curtis Naughton.

But Leigh added two more tries in the closing minutes. Ben Reynolds went in at the corner after a move from the scrum before Kay made it five with another classy finish in the corner. Ridyard finished with nine conversions from 11 attempts.

Leigh: McNally, Higson, Worthington, Pala, Kay, Ridyard, Brierley, Acton, Higham, Emmitt, Dixon, Goulden, Hock. Subs: Reynolds, Wilkes, Barlow, Aspinwall

Doncaster: Naughton, Scott, Cowling, Welham, Fox, McLochlan, Mennell, Verlinden, Kesik, Clark, Kelly, Mussolino, Emmett. Subs: Wright, Carnutt, Tagaloa, Foster

Referee: Andy Sweet

Pitch: Very good

Weather: Rain

Attendance: 3,311