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Centurions rack up 50 points in opening Championship win
Leigh Centurions 52 Batley Bulldogs 12
LEIGH Centurions claimed their first Kingstone Press Championship win of the season with an ultimately dominant nine-try win against last season’s Grand Final runners up.
Despite the handsome nature of the final outcome, Leigh did not start the game well with the Bulldogs eking out the first points when a pin-point kick from Scott Leatherbarrow was taken by former Centurions fullback Miles Greenwood for Lee Paterson to goal.
It took Leigh a little bit of time to find their feet but thanks to the prompting of Martyn Ridyard and Ryan Brierley, Centurions did not have to wait too long.
Firstly Stuart Littler was held up over the line before Leigh put a chance away a couple of minutes later when Ridyard boomed a pass right and Littler ran in at the corner.
Eight minutes later Centurions were over again when Ridyard cleverly fed the ball left for outstanding Matty Sarsfield to stride clear before laying the ball inside for Gregg McNally to send Ryan Brierley haring for the first of his hat-trick.
Next to the line was Bob Beswick and Leigh were really flying when Adam Higson ran down the right wing before Brierley supported. Ridyard’s goals took the score out to 22-6.
Batley saw an early second-half score for Sam Scott disallowed and Paterson spilled another chance.
This saw the visitors harass the Centurions for a good 10 minutes before Tom Spencer finished good approach work from Ridyard and Brierley.
Just before the hour Jake Connor crossed beneath the posts for Batley but any hopes were soon dashed as Leigh went 95 metres through Gregg McNally, Ryan Brierley and Adam Higson to score the try of the game, with Ridyard adding his fifth goal.
Brierley then completed his hat-trick and there was still enough time for the impressive Matty Sarsfield to spin over the line before another emphatic finish saw Tom Spencer charge clear for his second try. Brierley rounded off the Centurions impressive start with three goals.
Leigh: McNally, Higson, Littler, Armstrong, Brown; Ridyard, Brierley; Spencer, Beswick, Duffy, Sarsfield, Goulden, Barlow. Subs: Kay, Wilkes, Haggerty, Emmitt.
Batley: Greenwood, Blackmore, Bretherton, Paterson, Connor; Davies, Leatherbarrow; Smith, Leak, Gledhill, Chandler, Scott, Applegarth. Subs: Nicholson, Rowe, Mason, Leary.
Referee: Matt Thomason