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Centurions' winning run comes to an end
CENTURIONS’ long winning run in the Kingstone Press Championship came to an end thanks to a clinical second half performance by Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium.
After the first 40 minutes it was job half done for Leigh as they built a 16-6 advantage despite falling behind in the first couple of minutes.
Doncaster went short with the kick off but the ball broke for Leigh's Tom Armstrong and he surged 30 metres.
In fact Leigh did all the early running before Liam Kay lost the ball. Tom Hodson was quickest to react – kicking the ball forward, collecting the bounce and outpacing two players to the line from 60 metres.
Dave Scott converted but Leigh were soon on terms. Sam Barlow again proved dynamic in the middle of the field and his offload found Martin Aspinwall for him to claim his first Leigh try. Ryan Brierley converted.
Sean Penkywicz then saw an opportunity evade him after 15 minutes. After all his hard work, he knocked on over the line having made a startling break from dummy half.
Doncaster threatened down their left with Super League duo Ben Crooks combining with Jacob Miller but a slip by the Hull halfback allowed Leigh to chase back with Kay clattering Scott.
Barlow was again the key for Leigh with a typically threatening run and offload finding Ryan Brierley and he pinned his ears back for try 33 of the year. Unfortunately for Leigh, Brierley picked up an injury and had to withdraw for the next 50 minutes.
Leading 10-6 Leigh lost possession at the restart and didn't see much of the ball for the next ten minutes as Doncaster lay siege.
Somehow the visitors soaked this pressure up and replied brilliantly. Gregg McNally stepped up to halfback and he worked with Tommy Goulden to close in.
This time Penkywicz did everything right for his 7th try of the season. Kurt Haggerty goaled and it was 6-16 to the Centurions.
Early in the second half Leigh looked far more likely to score. Kay was halted just short while McNally saw his offload put down by the returning Adam Higson.
Doncaster rode their luck and after two quick penalties had pushed Leigh right back. Scott Spaven spied his chance and dived in from dummy half with Scott again on target to make it 12-16.
The game ebbed and flowed for several minutes before McNally weaved in from close range before seeing the effort chalked off for double movement.
Again the hosts rolled their sleeves up and claimed a try when Miller kicked left and Crooks beat the defence to score.
Doncaster had their tails up and scored their fourth try after 67 minutes when a switch play left created the space for Godson to go in at the corner.
A knock on by Stewart Sanderson gave Leigh a foothold but despite plenty of ball in the final ten minutes, they were frustrated. Even the return of Brierley failed to work and with the final play of the game Crooks intercepted and went 80 metres for his second to confirm Leigh's fate.
Centurions: McNally; Pownall, Hankinson, Armstrong, Kay; Beswick, Brierley; Spencer, Penkywicz, Aspinwall, Haggerty, Goulden, Barlow. Subs: Higson, Hopkins,Wilkes, Emmitt.