Leigh’s lead at the top still 10 points despite first league defeat

Martin Aspinwall scored a first half try for Leigh at Doncaster
Martin Aspinwall scored a first half try for Leigh at Doncaster

LEIGH suffered their first defeat of the season as they went down 24-16 away to Doncaster after a big second-half rally from the hosts.

Paul Rowley’s side, who had won 18 games in a row, had led 16-6 at half-time following tries from Martin Aspinwall, Ryan Brierley and Sean Penkywicz.

But Doncaster were a class apart in the second half and by the finish Tom Hodson and Ben Crooks had two tries apiece to go with one from Scott Spaven.

Leigh remain comfortably top of the table, their lead down to 10 points after Featherstone Rovers enjoyed a 48-24 win away to the Swinton Lions.

There were eight different scorers among their nine tries, with Jason Crookes getting two and Kyle Trout, Matty Dale, James Mendeika, Andy Kain, Will Sharp, Andy Ellis and Chris Annakin also crossing.

Ed Barber, Chris Atkin, Martin Ainscough, Mike Morrison got the tries for Swinton, who remain only two places from the foot of the table.

Featherstone edged two points clear of third-placed Halifax, who were held to a 22-22 draw by Batley Bulldogs.

A close encounter came to life in the second half, but tries from Keith Holden, Luke Ambler, Tommy Saxton, and Ryan Fieldhouse for Halifax were cancelled out by two from Alex Brown and further scores for Charlie Martin and Ben Black for Batley.

The result leaves Batley down in sixth place, level on points with Dewsbury above them after the Rams went down 40-34 at Whitehaven.

Craig Calvert had a hat-trick, while Tom Carr and Shaun Ainscough scored two tries each for Whitehaven, now only two points behind Dewsbury in seventh place.

Anthony Thackeray, Shane Grady, Karl Pryce, Sam Wood, Scott Hale, and Tommy Gallagher all crossed for Dewsbury.

Barrow remain rock-bottom at the foot of the table after being handed a 54-22 thrashing by Rochdale Hornets.

Alex McClurg and Jordan Case each scored two tries, while Lewis Sheridan, Ryan Millard, Matt Dawson, Paul Crook and John Cookson added the others for Rochdale. Max Wiper, Nathan Mossop, Ryan Shaw, and Dalton Grant and crossed for Barrow.

That result leaves Barrow cut adrift at the bottom of the table, five points behind Rochdale and six from Swinton.

North Wales Crusaders are only two points further clear after suffering a 24-16 loss to Sheffield Eagles.

Menzie Yere, Scott Turner, Misi Taulapapa, Loto Tagaloa, and Quentin Lauulu-Togagae also crossed for Sheffield, who built up a 14-0 lead by half-time.

The Crusaders stirred into life in the second half, but two tries from Jono Smith and another from Sebastien Martins could not prevent defeat .

Workington Town held on in the second-half to take a 16-12 win away to Keighley Cougars.

Two tries from Lewis Tierney and another from Jack Murphy helped give Workington a 16-0 lead a half-time.

However, Brendon Rawlins and Paul March scored for Keighley in the second half as the Cougars threatened a comeback which finished just short.