Halifax 34 Leigh Centurions 12
LEIGH’S Super 8 hopes suffered a massive blow as they were well beaten by Championship rivals Halifax at The Shay.
It means Centurions must now rely on other scores going their way while winning their remaining games against Bradford and Widnes.
Leigh had beaten Halifax home and away during the regular Championship season but they found themselves 20-0 down at half-time after a dominant performance from the home side.
Two tries straight after the restart from Adam Higson and Fuifui Moimoi hinted at a fightback from Leigh who famously recovered from 24-0 to win on this ground last season.
But Paul Rowley’s side could not sustain their pressure, instead succumbing to further tries from Halifax who had not won a game in this competition.
It was a disastrous first half for Leigh who found themselves 20-0 down at the interval. They were guilty of making several unforced errors and were pulled back for forward passes on more than one occasion.
In contrast, Halifax played with great energy and pace especially from the ruck and could count themselves unlucky not to have been further ahead by half-time.
Dane Manning gave Richard Marshall’s side an eighth minute lead with a 40 metre run to the line after seizing on a loose pass. Steve Tyrer added the conversion.
The home side double their lead soon after when a short kick through by Jacob Fairbank was grounded by Ross Divorty. Tyrer again goaled.
Nine minutes before the break, Tyrer kicked a penalty after Leigh were penalised twice in quick succession.
Then moments later, a huge pass to the left side by Connor Robinson created the danger and Tyrer ficked it onto James Saltonstall who scored in the corner. Tyrer again goaled.
With only four minutes of the second half played, good passing along the line got Higson over and Martyn Ridyard’s conversion was successful.
In their next set, Leigh scored again. Fuifui Moimoi proved unstoppable from close range and with Ridyard goaling again, Leigh looked in with a shout trailing 20-12.
But instead it was the home side who finished the stronger. In the 55th minute Scott Murrell scooted under the posts, soon followed by the impressive Tyrer who also converted both and added a penalty 12 minutes from the end.
Leigh: McNally, Pownall, Higson, Armstrong, Kay, Ridyard, Brierley, Moimoi, Beswick, Acton, Dixon, Hock, Emmitt. Subs: Higham, Wilkes, Spencer, Aspinwall
Halifax: Johnston, Eccleston, Heaton, Tyrer, Saltonstall, Robinson, Murrell, Cahalane, Maneely. Ambler, Divorty, Manning, Fairbank. Subs: Tangata, Kaye, Bracek, Moore
Referee: Chris Kendall