Dewsbury Rams 12 Leigh Centurions 28
FIVE second-half tries saw Leigh Centurions overcome stubborn resistance to stretch their lead at the head of the Kingstone Press Championship to seven points.
For much of the first half, it was Leigh’s defence that led the way when despite enjoying a glut of possession all that the Dewsbury Rams could muster was an interception try and two goals.
An early 40/20 from Kieran Hyde put the hosts on the front foot but Leigh held firm and began to enjoy some position themselves.
Unfortunately for the visitors, the end product was not quite there, emphasised perfectly when Leigh drifted right and the usually crisp handling of Ryan Brierley was picked off by Hyde who ran 60 metres for a try goaled by full back Jordan Grayston.
Rams continued to create the better opportunities as first Dale Morton knocked on over the line from Anthony Thackeray’s kick and then Callan Beckett touched down from an offside position.
Despite some good work from their middle forwards, Leigh could not get going.
Grayston hooked a penalty attempt wide before striking a 32nd minute goal after Ryan Hepworth was felled.
Beckett was also clattered by Adam Higson and once again Leigh held their line intact despite Louis Sheriff losing the ball over the line.
Just as Centurions were breaking out from their own end Matthew Haggarty was dismissed for striking Brierley with a high tackle.
The aftermath of this incident saw both benches flare up with the match commissioner defusing the situation.
The second half was barely two minutes old when Leigh made first use of their numerical advantage.
Gregg McNally fired a pass to his left and Liam Kay flew in by the corner post.
Just a couple of minutes later, Leigh were looking threatening again with Brierley and Tommy Goulden linking. The Centurions half back then wrapped around Goulden in support and ran to the corner for the touchdown. Ridyard goaled before Dewsbury again laid siege to the Centurions line.
Leigh absorbed the pressure perfectly and cut loose in spectacular fashion after 56 minutes when Sean Penkywicz sliced through the defence and Tom Spencer roared over by the posts. Penkywicz was in inspired form and within a couple of minutes kicked a 40/20.
This set the position for Leigh’s next attack which resulted in Kurt Haggerty pushing over the line for his fifth try of the season.
There was one more try to come for Centurions when Ridyard linked for Brierley to cut through the defence to continue his remarkable scoring season which now stands at 24 tries in 13 games.
Ridyard struck his 4th conversion before the game descended into late chaos.
A mounting penalty count eventually gave Dewsbury the position where Bennett slipped the ball perfectly for Morton to dive in at the corner after Haggerty was sin-binned for dissent.
Then in the closing stages, Leigh were reduced to eleven men when Jamie Acton rounded off an action packed display by also seeing yellow.
Centurions held their nerve to keep Rams at bay and claim their 13th successive win.
Leigh: McNally, Higson, Pitman, Armstrong, Kay; Ridyard, Brierley; Spencer, Beswick, Emmitt, Haggerty, Goulden, Hopkins. Subs: Penkywicz, Acton, Barlow, Wilkes.
Referee: D Merrick