Cory Paterson scored a first half hat-trick as Leigh strengthened their grip at the top of the Kingstone Press Championship with a comprehensive win over Whitehaven at the Sports Village.
It was a solid performance from Neil Jukes’ side who were 36-0 up by half-time and continued to add tries regularly after the break.Whitehaven impressed in the early stages as they twice split Leigh open through the middle but poor passes let them down.
Centurions countered with a devastating spell of three tries in eight minutes and all of them came from Paterson.
His first came in the 16th minute as he supported a break from Micky Higham and took an inside pass to score under the posts.
The same pair combined again moments later and sent Martyn Ridyard racing clear. His offload again found Paterson in support to finish off.
Paterson completed his hat-trick in the 24th minute with a 20 metre burst as Leigh continued to turn the screw. With Ridyard kicking all three conversions, Leigh led 18-0.
Centurions continued to dominate and added a fourth try when Tom Armstrong hit a good line to cut infield and score from the left edge.
Paterson looked like he was on his way to a fourth try seven minutes before half-time but instead he passed infield to the supporting Jamie Acton and he touched down. Ridyard again kicked the extras.
Moments before half-time, a Ridyard bomb was taken by Jouffret but the ball was then stolen one-on-one by Ben Reynolds to touch down in-goal. Ridyard’s goal made it 36-0.
There was no let up from Leigh after the break as Reni Maitua scored on the short side from Liam Hood’s pass and Ridyard converted from touch.
Lee Smith set up Liam Kay in the 50th minute then Kay scored again moments later after Armstrong’s break. Ridyard couldn’t add the extras, his first miss of the game.
The visitors got their only try on the hour as Glen Riley scored from close range having been held up moments earlier.
But Leigh finished strongly with further tries from Dayne Weston and Hood.
Smith, Higson, Worthington, Armstrong, Kay, Ridyard, Reynolds, Spencer, Higham, Weston, Maitua, Hock, Paterson. Subs: Hood, Hopkins, Whiting, Acton
Jouffret, Chamberlain, Taylor, Parker, Calvert, Aiye, Gore, Riley, Carberry, Chapplehow, Allen, McAvout, Davies. Subs: Fox, Newton, Duffy, Brocklebank
Referee: Chris Kendall
Pitch: Very good
Weather: Sunny but windy