MICK Nanyn claimed his place in the history books with a record breaking haul as Leigh Centurions moved three points clear at the top of the Co-operative Championship.
Nanyn’s four goals that moved him above Leigh legend Jimmy Ledgard in the Rugby League all-time points scoring records and into the game’s top 10, were the icing on the cake on an afternoon when Leigh again showed their class to maintain their unbeaten record with a convincing win against one of their closest rivals.
Batley arrived looking to avenge a Northern Rail Cup defeat in February, and repeat last season’s shock semi final success in the same competition. But Leigh were in no mood to let history repeat itself and with a powerful pack display backed by lively and inventive back play, the Centurions were never in danger of letting this slip.
Never-the-less Batley did push Leigh hard throughout and in the second half particularly, but both sides had their chances and the balance of play was always in Leigh’s direction. Once again Jamie Ellis showed his worth with another strong all round performance in which his combination with Martyn Ridyard again paid dividends, but with Tommy Goulden, James Taylor, Chris Hill and the returning Steve Nash impressing this was a good all round Leigh display.
Leigh struck first after just four minutes when Ellis created room for Matty Blythe to claim his first try of the season after returning on dual-registration forms from Warrington. Nanyn goaled.
The Bulldogs’ Johnny Campbell was denied a scoring opportunity with a tackle from the marvellous Stuart Donlan, before Donlan struck at the other end when taking Ridyard’s pass to race in for a second Nanyn goaled try.
With Mills powering off the bench, the visitors were putting up stubborn resistance, until the 29th minute when Mick Govin engineered the opening and Ellis went in for another Nanyn goaled try, which saw the centre surpass Ledgard’s record.
The Bulldogs desperately tried to get on the scoresheet before the break with Paul Handforth going well, but Leigh went in with an 18-0 interval lead.
Stuart Littler and Govin were both tackled on their backs over the try line at the start of the second half before Donlan snapped up a loose ball to go in for his second try of the game, again with nanny goaling before limping off the field.
It looked all over but Batley battled back as Wayne Reittie shot in for a try that Handforth goaled on 53 minutes before Daley Williams went in for a second some four minutes later, again goaled by Handforrh.
Suddenly there was a hint of game on, but Leigh upped the tempo again and after weathering a spell of Batley pressure before a kick and regather from Ellis saw him send Anthony Nicholson in for a try that Ridyard goaled with 10 minutes remaining.
Batley spurned a try scoring chance when Danny Maun made a mess of Alex Brown’s pass, and Dean McGilvray had a score ruled out. But Leigh completed the scoring on 80 minutes when Nash capped a fine game with a touch down from an Ellis kick and Ridyard added the goal.