Dewsbury Rams 18 Leigh Centurions 34

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Leigh romped in for five second half tries to end Dewsbury Rams’ dreams of a Cooperative Championship upset as they moved up to fourth spot in the table.

It was Leigh’s sixth straight League victory and it moved them within three points of the leaders Halifax, with a game in hand. But it was never as comfortable as the scoreline suggests and the Centurions had to dig deep from being 12-6 down at the break to make it too hot for their hosts in the heat of the afternoon.

Leigh welcomed back the hugely influential John Duffy and he did not disappoint, claiming their opening try, whilst his half back Martyn Ridyard put in a cracking performance too, to celebrate his return.

But it was Rob Parker who led the pack, putting in a sterling second stint in the final quarter to spark a flurry of points as Tom Spencer, Craig Briscoe and Sam Hopkins all impressed.

The home side defended resolutely in the opening quarter, as Leigh sought the opening and Stuart Littler and Parker both went close to scoring.

But seemingly inevitably, Leigh took the lead on 20 minutes when finishing a well set move with a try that Ridyard goaled. That looked like it should have been the springboard Leigh need, but they got drawn into giving some niggling penalties away and Dewsbury grabbed the position and the initiative as stand off Pat Walker backed up Austin Buchanan’s break to score and then full back James Craven latched on to Scott Spaven’s kick ahead to score a try to which Walker added his second goal on 33 minutes for a 12-6 lead that the Rams took into half time.

Leigh certainly stepped up their effort and focus in the second period and when Duffy put a neat kick over the top, it was Tommy Goulden grabbing a well deserved try to which Ridyard added the extras to level on 44 minutes.

Within another four, Leigh had the lead as Littler shot clear for a try that this time was too far out Ridyard to convert.

Dewsbury gave Leigh a shock again on 52 minutes when slack defence at the play the ball enabled George Flanagan to score and with Walker goaling, it was Leigh behind by two points.

It looked even worse when Duffy was caught by a high tackle and was forced to leave the field, but then Parker came off the bench and the Leigh pack ripped into the Rams as Ridyard and Anthony Nicholson found the gaps. Parker burst clear to put in Spencer on 65 minutes, with Ridyard gaoling, and then Ridyard put Briscoe over.

Leigh’s last try came in the final minute with Hopkins crossing and Ridyard adding his fifth goal to complete Leigh’s success.