Bradford Bulls 58 Leigh Centurions 16
CENTURION Challenge Cup hopes were ended for another year as Bradford Bulls ran in 10 tries against the plucky visitors on a cold May night at Odsal.
Centre Chris Nero was the hero for the hosts, grabbing a hat-trick and creating another, but the game was won and lost by two seperate scoring bursts that yielded six of the Bulls tries.
Bradford had their first scoring opportunity after three minutes when big Andy Lynch was held up over the line by Chris Hill.
A few seconds later the ball was moved left for Nero to open his and the Bulls account and Paul Sykes kicked the first of eight goals.
Leigh came back positively but a Martyn Ridyard chip and chase came to nothing before Elliot Whitehead found Sykes in support and the stand-off cantered over by the posts.
A third try followed on 13 minutes when Rikki Sherriffe roared down the right wing before passing inside at the last moment for Steve Menzies to touch down.
Michael Worrincy threw the ball wide looking for Menzies and Martyn Ridyard latched onto it, sprinting 25 metres unopposed for his fifth try of the season.
A scrappy Brett Kearney try completed the 24-6 half-time lead.
Worrincy opened the scoring early in the second half for Sykes to add his fifth goal.
A mistake from Ricky Bibey on halfway on 51 minutes eventually led to Sykes firing a ball out for Nero to claim his second try.
From the restart Menzies shipped play to Sherriffe who raced round Nick Stanton before a repeat play saw the winger pass back for Menzies to claim his second try.
Bulls scored their third try in the space of nine minutes when a loose offload caught a Leigh hand in flight and Bradford played on for Nero to burst through the middle for his hat-trick.
Nero scattered the right side Centurion defence and passed for Godwin to scamper over from 25 metres.
Trailing 52-6, Leigh rallied and worked a smart move that saw Ridyard put Donlan in for his seventh try of the season.
Hall barged over and goaled Bradford's last try before an exciting Ridyard break had the Leigh crowd cheering.
Leigh continued to pour forward and David Armitstead rounded off a hard working game with an individual try that saw him carry three Bradford players over the line. Mick Nanyn closed the game with his second goal.
Bradford: Halley; Sherriffe, Menzies (2t), Nero (3t), Reardon; Sykes (1t, 8g), Kearney (1t); Scruton, L'Estrange, Lynch, Whitehead, Worrincy (1t), Hall (1t, 1g). Subs: Donaldson, Godwin (1t), Platt, Kopczak.
Leigh: Donlan (1t); Maden, Leuluai, Nanyn (2g), Stanton; Ridyard (1t), Paul; Hill, McConnell, Bibey, Goulden, Taylor, Armitstead (1t). Subs: Durbin, Morrison, Mort, Meekin. Attendance: 4,250