LEIGH Centurions may have found the struggle a little tougher than they expected but they still cantered to their fourth straight win in the Northern Rail Cup to top Pool 2 with a 100 per cent record.
Not that they needed to worry about the result too much as they had already qualified for the quarter final draw. But with home advantage guaranteed for the Pool winners, the Centurions were determined not to leave anything to chance.
And if the Cumbrian outfit had ever thought they were going to hit Leigh hard early on and then see if they could upset their hosts, the Centurions ensured there was going to be no such boost when they Jamie Ellis put Tommy Goulden through a gap in the second minute and strong running second rower made no mistake with the touchdown. Mick Nanyn added the goal points and Leigh had the start they wanted.
With Ricky Bibey and Chris Hill leading a rampant pack, Leigh soon had their second try Leigh were driving Workington back, but the home side had lively contributors in Graeme Mattinson and Jarrad Stack who both went close before Leigh added to their start. Then it was Hill who set the attack rolling with another powerful surge and after Stuart Dolan had been hauled down, an Ellis kick behind the defensive line had Steve Maden grabbing the second Leigh try, too far out for Nanyn to goal.
Workington gave notice that they were not going to roll over and lie down when scrum half Scott Kaighan raced in for a try he couldn’t goal, but Leigh’s response was quick in coming as the impressive Martyn Ridyard slipped pas a couple of defenders and then fended others off to claim a 30th minute try that again went ungoaled.
Nevertheless Leigh were soon across the whitewash again as they spilt the home defence with a magnificent handling try as Hill set the move going, James Taylor carried it on and Ridyard and Dean McGilvray all combined before Maden finished with his second.
Donlan had to move sharpish to snuff out a raid from Elliott Miller, but it did give Kaighan the opportunity to land a penalty when Bibey was penalised for a punch, and Leigh went in with an 18-6 interval lead.
Kaighan was having a lively game and he scored his second and Workington’s within three minutes of the restart, adding the goal for good measure to close the gap to six points. The home side piled on the pressure, but Leigh held firm before going up field and testing the town’s defence to the full.
Eventually Leigh’s pressure told and on the hour mark, Donlan linked with Ridyard to go over for Leigh’s fifth try that Nanyn goaled.
That really put an end to Workington’s spirited resistance and although the home side had their moments, Leigh were in control as Ellis squeezed over and then Stuart Littler and Andy Gorski got n the scoresheet.
Nanyn finished with five goals from eight attempts and their victory completed an impressive Northern Rail Cup campaign that had seen them average 44 points a game whilst conceding an average of 11 and set them up for the start of the Championship.