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Safe passage for Leigh Centurions
Wigan St Patricks 6 Leigh Centurions 74
LEIGH Centurions blasted through to round four of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup with a convincing 13 tries to one victory over a plucky St Pats who included five ex-Leigh players in their ranks.
The Centurions struck first after five minutes when Stuart Littler released Ryan Brierley and the half back cleverly kicked on for Adam Higson to claim the first of two tries.
It was an evening of two-try performances for the club with Gregg McNally, Johnathan Pownall, Sean Penkywicz and Tommy Goulden also notching touchdown braces.
Brierley was creator again after eight minutes with a short pass that saw Goulden canter over. The half back, paired with Liam Kay for the first time since pre-season, added the goal points and Leigh led 12-0.
Fourteen minutes in the hosts' full back Jayden Sandford arced across the field and scored between three defenders for Brad Smith to goal.
Normal service was soon resumed as Littler went close before Ryan Duffy hulked his way over the line and the vision of Penkywicz paved the way for Higson’s second try to make it 22-6 after 22 minutes.
Two further tries came Leigh’s way before the break.
Penkywicz was at his most influential and the former Halifax and Huddersfield hooker darted to the line before expansive passing between Brierley and Kay paved the way for Kurt Haggerty to score his first try since returning to the club.
With Brierley on song with the boot Leigh led 34-6 at half-time.
If the plucky amateurs thought they could get back into the contest in the second half, they hadn’t planned for a rapid Leigh start that brought a further four tries in the first 12 minutes.
Pownall scored either side of McNally’s first try before smart work on the right hand side gave former Salford debutant Chris Hankinson his first senior try. Brierley even saw a try disallowed for a forward pass as Leigh flooded forward.
An exquisite offload from Anthony Bate saw Goulden notch his second on the hour but a combination of greater determination in defence and some scrappy attack conspired against the Centurions before the classy Penkywicz motored to the line from 15 metres.
Sam Barlow harshly saw a try ruled out but Leigh brought the bakers dozen up with a couple of minutes to spare when Higson shot through a yawning gap in midfield and McNally supported for Brierley to complete his eleven-goal haul and the 74-6 win.
Team: McNally; Higson, Littler, Armstrong, Pownall; Kay, Brierley; Acton, Penkywicz, Duffy, Haggerty, Goulden, Bate. Subs: Hankinson, Emmitt, Spencer, Barlow.
Referee: M Woodhead
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