Leigh have one hand on Shield

Leigh's Ryan Brierley on his way to the tryline. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography
Leigh's Ryan Brierley on his way to the tryline. Photo: Paul McCarthy Photography

Leigh put one hand on the league leaders’ shield after sharing the points in a 36-36 draw with Bradford in front of a Kingstone Press Championship record crowd of 9,181 at the Provident Stadium.

The result leaves the Centurions two points in front of the Bulls with a vastly superior points difference and a game in hand as the regular season nears completion ahead of the split for the Super 8s.

Bradford and Leigh will be joined in the Qualifiers by Sheffield Eagles and Halifax, who confirmed their spot with a 52-0 win over bottom club Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Hat-tricks from Bradford’s former Hull KR winger Omari Caro and Leigh flier Jonathan Pownall were the highlights of the clash at Odsal, where the attendance easily topped the competition’s previous best of 7,449 set in the round-one duel between the same two sides back in February.

Jay Pitts, Danny Addy and Matty Blythe were the other tryscorers for Bradford, who led 20-12 at the break, while Ryan Shaw kicked six goals.

Gareth Hock, Great Worthington and Ryan Brierley scored the other tries for Leigh while Martyn Ridyard kicked six goals to help his side to a sixth straight win.

Dane Manning marked the 150th appearance of his career with two first-half tries to put Halifax on their way to their handsome victory over Doncaster.

Substitute Ryan Maneeling and centre Steve Tyrer also touched down twice and other tries came from Tom Saxton, Andy Bracek and Ben Johnston as Halifax built on their 18-0 half-time lead to secure an eighth straight win and a fourth-place finish at the end of the regular season.

Sheffield made sure of third spot with a 38-28 win over Featherstone, who must play out the season in the Championship Shield after finishing outside the bottom eight.

Threequarters Rob Worrincy and Menzie Yere both scored two tries for the Eagles and others came from Duane Straugher, Michael Knowles and Sam Smeaton, with Kyle Briggs kicking five goals.

Centre Thomas Minns, who is joining Hull KR at the end of the season, scored four of Rovers’s six tries, Paul Sykes and Reni Maitua getting the others.

Dewsbury leapfrogged London Broncos into sixth place thanks to a 34-16 win over Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground.

Winger Dale Morton touched down in each half and Nathan Conroy, Scott Hale, Toby Adamson and Joel Farrell got the others for the Rams, who led only 12-6 at the break.

Declan Hulme, Craig Calvert and Ben Davies scored tries for the Cumbrians, with Louis Jouffret kicking two goals.

Workington leapfrogged their Cumbrian neighbours into eighth spot with their 29-18 victory over London at Derwent Park, where Scotland international Brett Phillips marked his 100th career appearance with a try.

Kurt Horton, Lewis Tierney and Kris Coward scored Town’s other touchdowns while Jarrod Sammut kicked two goals and a drop goal.

Centre Ben Hellewell touched down in each half for the Broncos, with Joe Keyes getting their other try and Wes Naiqama kicking three goals.

Batley ran in eight tries in a 45-28 victory over Hunslet, who have now lost their last nine matches.

Simon Brown (two), Luke Blake, Sean Hesketh, Tom Lillycrop, Brad Day, Shaun Squires and Joe Chandler were the Bulldogs’ tryscorers, with Scott Leatherbarrow kicking six goals and a drop goal.

Hooker Jack Lee scored two of the Hawks’ tries, with the others coming from Callum Casey, Jim Watson and Andrew Yates while Simon Brown kicked four goals.