Leigh survive Eagles comeback as rivals slip up

Tom Armstrong scores the try which sealed victory for Leigh. Photo: Brian King.
Tom Armstrong scores the try which sealed victory for Leigh. Photo: Brian King.
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Leigh maintained their fantastic 100 percent winning record after withstanding a late fightback from Sheffield to defeat the Eagles 32-24.

The Centurions looked be coasting as they led 26-6 at half-time thanks to tries from Ryan Brierley, Bob Beswick, Chris Hankinson and Matt Sarsfield, three of which were converted by Brierley, with the Eagles’ solitary response coming from Scott Turner touching down.

Turner went on to complete a hat-trick of tries in the second half, while James Davey also crossed as Sheffield cut the gap to two points, but Tom Armstrong’s late score ensured Leigh made it 17 wins from as many Kingstone Press Championship matches.

Second-placed Featherstone slipped further behind the league leaders after being edged out 38-34 at lowly Rochdale.

The second-bottom Hornets raced into an 18-0 lead thanks to converted scores from Paul Crook, Stuart Littler and Ryan Millard, but Featherstone came roaring back following tries from Jason Crookes, Andy Kain and Steve Crossley.

But Sean Casey, Matt Dawson, James Dandy and Warren Thompson helped Rochdale to victory and meant that tries from Will Sharp, Etuate Uaisele and Ian Hardman were in vain for Rovers, who are ahead of third-placed Halifax by just one point.

Doncaster overturned a 12-10 half-time deficit to squeak past North Wales Crusaders 28-24.

Greg Wilde and Stuart Reardon crossed the whitewash for the Welsh side and, although Liam Welham and Richard Whiting scored tries for Doncaster, only one of their tries was converted.

But the south Yorkshire side came roaring back as converted scores from Scott Spaven, David Scott and Steve Snitch downed the Crusaders, whose second-half tries came from Dan Birkett and Sebastien Martins.

Whitehaven also came from behind to coast past Barrow and move into the final play-off place.

Tries from Ben Davies and Nathan Mossop, with Ryan Shaw adding the extras put Barrow in charge as Whitehaven trailed by two points at the interval, despite Cain Southernwood and Craig Calvert’s scores.

But they were on-song in the second half, with Shaun Ainscough, Lee Mitchell and Jessie Joe Parker all claiming tries to help their side up to eighth in the table and render Mossop’s second score of the afternoon redundant.

Peter Lupton’s two tries helped Workington overcome Barrow 22-16.

Lupton crossed twice, while there were further scores for Karl Olstrum and Jason Mossop, with Carl Forber converting three of those scores.

Scott Leatherbarrow scored a try and converted two others in reply, with Miles Greenwood and Ben Black also crossing.