TOM Amone scored his first senior try as Leigh closed to within one point of Betfred Championship leaders Featherstone Rovers with a 26-16 victory at Halifax.

The former Wests Tigers prop couldn’t conceal his delight at his 58th minute career breakthrough to all but confirm Centurions’ seventh successive win in all competitions.

While the Panthers proved resilient opponents, taking an early lead and regularly testing the visitors’ defence, there was none of last week’s drama at Bradford.

And this latest five-try success, lifting Leigh above Barrow into second place, will give Super League Hull KR food for thought ahead of Saturday’s Challenge Cup sixth round tie.

Adrian Lam’s side notched 22 unanswered points after falling behind. And while James Saltonstall eventually broke the sequence, Joe Wardle’s first try for the club killed-off any comeback thoughts.

Dual reg capture James Bell’s first appearance on his return to the club from St Helens was another plus for head coach Adrian Lam.

Fellow debutant Inu had first opportunity to score the game’s first points after seven minutes. But Caleb Aekins’ cut out pass was marginally behind him and the powerhouse winger dropped the ball over the sideline.

Instead, the opening touch down went to Fax centre Zack McComb two minutes later. James Woodburn-Hall made initial in roads before JSaltonstall’s kick caught Leigh’s defence on its heels and McComb won the race to touch down.

John Asiata’s stunning line break on his 150th career appearance set-up another chance but his pass inside was picked off by Fax skipper, Brandon Moore.

Fax were certainly fired up for the contest, moved round the pitch at pace by half backs Corey Aston and Joe Keyes.

So, there was relief when Leigh hit back to take a 27th minute lead. Ben Reynolds was held up over the try line before Fax were pinged for offside.

Leigh ran the ball and Mark Ioane crashed over from Bell’s assist with Reynolds adding the extras. Halifax immediately handed back the initiative by putting the re-start out on the full.

Leigh marched upfield and Aekins sent Nene Macdonald barging over for his eighth try of the campaign. Centurions looked to turn the screw before half-time, but Mellor was held up as he plunged for the line.

They did, however, take a two-score lead after 48 minutes. Slick handling between Mellor and Chamberlain created a sliver of a gap for Keanan Brand to grab his fifth Championship try of 2022. Reynolds goaled from the touchline and Leigh led 16-4.

Bell once again turned provider for Amone to touch down in front of the travelling Leigh faithful and Reynolds improved once more.

Saltonstall and Wardle traded tries before Panthers had the final say with a last minute try from winger, Lachlan Walmsley.

Halifax: Woodburn-Hall; Saltonstall, McComb, Arundel, Walmsley; Aston, Keyes; Murray, Moore, Mason, Ashworth, Garside, Tangata; replacements: Wood, Gwaze, Calcott, Barber.

Tries: McComb, Saltonstall, Walmsley Goals: Keyes 2/3.

Leigh: Aekins; Inu, Chamberlain, Macdonald, Brand; Reynolds, Mellor; Sidlow, Smith, Amone, Wardle, Stone, Asiata; replacements: Ioane, Hingano, McDonnell, Bell.

Tries: Ioane, Macdonald, Brand, Amone, Wardle.

Goals: Reynolds 3/5.

Referee Nick Bennett.

Half-time: 4-10.

Attendance: 2202.