Ridyard in fitness race

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Leigh Centurions are sweating on the fitness of Martyn Ridyard ahead of this Saturday’s crucial Kingstone Press Championship clash with Featherstone Rovers.

The game kicks off at 1.00pm at the Leigh Sports Village where the Centurions will hope to continue the magnificent recent form that has seen them win at the Rovers Big Fellas stadium in the Northern Rail cup, and score more than 60 points against Keighley last Sunday.

“We are playing consistently well at present,” said coach Paul Rowley. “And getting the results we deserve. Yet even against Keighley last weekend I feel there was room for improvement and not least because both first choice half backs Martyn Ridyard and Ryan Brierley were missing.

“But what a response from the changes we made. Greg McNally played stand off and notched 34 points and Jonathan Pownall moved to full back and crossed for three tries. But we won’t get carried away by any of this. Keighley had put up a good showing against Batley in the Cup the week before and probably took a lot out of themselves to leave them short when needed last weekend. But we put in a huge effort and I can’t ask for more than that.”

Never-the-less Leigh finished with 12 players as knocks were suffered to Pownall, Michael Ostick and Sam Hopkins.

“We will give them the maximum opportunity to recover,” added Rowley. “But hopefully they should not be too bad. We got them off straight away as there was no need for them to keep flogging on when we were winning so well.”

Yet Featherstone are going to be a totally different proposition to Keighley, and Rowley readily admits that he needs at least one of his first choice half backs available if they are to be in with a good chance of seeing off Featherstone for the second time in two weeks.

“Featherstone are a very good side and have been the most consistent team in the Championship over the past three seasons,” he pointed out. “People tend to forget that. Ryan is definitely an absentee as he is out for a few weeks more, but I am keeping my fingers crossed that Ridyard will be fit. I certainly think we will be a different side with him in the middle.”

Meanwhile Leigh have got the home draw they wanted in the quarter finals of the Northern Rail Cup with a tie at the LSV against Whitehaven on June 16.