McNally scores five to leave Hawks flapping

Gregg McNally of Leigh Centurions
Gregg McNally of Leigh Centurions

Leigh Centurions 72 Hunslet Hawks 6

GREGG McNally scored five tries as Leigh returned to the top of the Kingstone Press Championship in style with a crushing win over Hunslet at the Sports Village.

The full-back went close to adding a sixth which would have equalled the Centurions club record for tries in a match, but it was a minor quibble on a night when Leigh outclassed their struggling opponents.

Paul Rowley’s side led 46-0 at half-time after scoring eight tries, seven of which were converted by Martyn Ridyard.

“Every objective was achieved tonight,” said Rowley.

“We scored some good tries and were able to bring back some players after missing the last few games.

“I was pleased for Gregg and he has been outstanding all season.”

It was training ground stuff from Leigh as they appeared able to score at will against a side which had more than 60 put past them on Sunday by Bradford.

Rowley was forced to make a late change to his squad following the withdrawal of Gareth Hock through illness and in came Tom Spencer.

Recent signing from Catalans Dragons Mathias Pala made his senior debut in the centres and Sam Barlow returned to the side after missing the last three games. Barlow in particular made an impact on his return while there were telling contributions from Bob Beswick and Micky Higham.

Six minutes had gone when Jamie Acton, Barlow and Fuifui Moimoi combined to get McNally over for his first.

Tries from Ridyard and Micky Higham followed quickly before Ryan Brierley set up Kurt Haggerty with a long pass.

McNally claimed his second in the 23rd minute after a barnstorming Moimoi run did the initial damage,

Matt Sarsfield scored twice before half time either side of a Martin Aspinwall try. Ridyard kicked seven from eight in the first half to make it 46-0.

There was talk in the press box of a potential new club record win during half-time but Leigh didn’t get close to the 92-2 success against Keighley back in 1986.

The second half was just as one-sided with Beswick setting up McNally before Tom Armstrong’s break gave Liam Kay a run to the line.

Two more from McNally took him to five, one behind the club record for tries in a game held by Neil Turley and Jack Wood.

Higham scored a second in the 65th minute and Kay did the same with two minutes left on the clock.

Hunslet’s solitary try came from Mufaro Mvdudu eight minutes from the end which Simon Brown goaled.

It was good night all round for Leigh who were backing up after beating Workington on Sunday.

They face a much tougher test on Sunday when Featherstone visit the Sports Village.

Teams:

Leigh: McNally, Higson, Pala, Armstrong, Kay, Ridyard, Brierley, Moimoi, Higham, Acton, Haggerty, Sarsfield, Barlow. Subs: Beswick, Spencer, Wilkes, Aspinwall

Hunslet: Elliot, Agoro, Casey, Mvududu, Finnigan, Brown, Ansell, Mulhern, Ward, Houston, Gee, Martin, Trout. Subs: Tebb, Castle, Reed, Backhouse

Referee: Chris Leatherbarrow

Weather: Fine and dry

Pitch: Immaculate

Attendance: 2,716