Leigh Centurions 52 Whitehaven 0
THREE games into the Kingstone Press Championship and three convincing wins have seen the Centurions rack up 156 points with Whitehaven becoming the latest victim of the free-scoring side.
There was nothing between the sides for the opening 10 minutes with Stuart Littler spilling a difficult cross-field kick from Martyn Ridyard and Craig Calvert seeing a Tom Carr kick trickle out of play in front of him.
Despite being put under some early pressure from the Cumbrians, it was Leigh who broke away down the right with Littler and Adam Higson combining over forty metres after an earlier pass releasing Ryan Brierley had been deemed forward.
As Whitehaven scrambled, Leigh shifted play towards the other wing with Tom Armstrong stepping inside to open his try account for the season. Ridyard kicked the first of six goals and Whitehaven then booted the ball out of play from the restart.
Again Leigh moved into range for Ridyard to pick out Armstrong and he slid through a gaping hole in the defence for his second.
Trailing 12-0, Whitehaven chipped over the top through Cain Southernwood.
The halfback raced through to collect and fired a pass right looking for support. A superb piece of anticipation from Gregg McNally saw the full back intercept just thirty metres from his own line and blaze through the middle of the field to score at the other end with Ridyard goaling to make it 18-0.
Leigh were still going at a point a minute when Brierley teed up Tommy Goulden for a converted try before Ridyard sent Ryan over for the first of his treble.
Liam Kay then provided the crowd with a real wow moment as he slipped two tackles, danced between two more, pushed away from another and then outpaced Shaun Ainscough for a try in the corner. Ridyard goaled.
With Leigh 36-0 up, they lost Ridyard to injury and that’s how the score remained at half-time.
Early in the second half Brierley split the defence out wide from a scrum to claim his second before the rain tumbled down and affected the flow of the game.
Although Whitehaven improved, they were still powerless to stop the creativity of returning Sean Penkywicz as he slid a kick behind the line for Brierley to pounce just before the hour and then the hooker worked the position for Jake Emmitt to open his try account with Brierley adding to his game tally with two goals.
The game ended in scrappy circumstances with the otherwise effective Sam Barlow sin-binned for punching but Leigh held their line to keep their visitors to nil.
Leigh: McNally; Higson, Littler, Armstrong, Kay; Ridyard, Brierley; Spencer, Beswick, Aspinwall, Sarsfield, Goulden, Barlow. Subs: Penkywicz, Wilkes, Emmitt, Haggerty.
Referee: Dave Merrick.