Leigh came up short in their bid to cause a Betfred Challenge Cup upset but a late rally had Super League Hull KR grateful to hear the final hooter.

Trailing 24-6 with 16 minutes remaining, Centurions plundered 12 points in three minutes late on to suggest they could pull this sixth-round tie out of the fire.

Adrian Lam’s visitors were left with just over a minute for another converted score to bring the teams level.

Instead, the Robins held on to reach the quarter-finals and end Leigh’s six-game winning run.

Ultimately, the Championship side was undone by a second quarter fade out. In 14 minutes, the home side plundered 18 points to help extend their unbeaten run over their hosts to eight games.

Defeat was Centurions’ first since falling in round two of the Championship to leaders, Featherstone Rovers.

Leigh acquitted themselves well in the early stages. Caleb Aekins and Keanan Brand were safe under the high ball while Tom Amone and John Asiata made decent yards in search of the home try line.

When Will Dagger was snagged behind his own line, Leigh kept up the pressure from the drop out.

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And when ex Dewsbury prop Tom Garratt went high on Joe Mellor, Ben Reynolds kicked the penalty to boot the visitors in front.

Mellor’s grubber secured another Rovers’ drop out but this time a knock on in the centres prevented any chance of further points.

Ex Leigh favourite Ben Crooks had to react smartly to concede a third drop out as another probing Mellor kick caused problems for the home defence.

Back-to-back penalties for offside and a ball steal brought a first test for Leigh’s own defensive capabilities.

But having survived that test, the visitors conceded the game’s opening try after 25 minutes. Elliot Minchella’s offload sparked Mikey Lewis into action and Frankie Halton prospered from the half-back’s assist. Jordan Abdull added the extras.

Leigh lost hooker Aaron Smith to a 28th minute head knock before conceding a body blow, second try 10 minutes from the break.

Chancing their arm on the final tackle, Lewis started and finished a flowing move, albeit with suspiciously final forward pass from Kane Linnett, to extend the Robins’ lead.

If that was a spectacular effort, Rovers’ third try in a 10-minute hot streak, was a scoot through soft tackling from close range by Matt Parcell.

Will Dagger, who had replaced Abdull as goal kicker, landed his second conversion to leave Leigh 18-2 in arrears.

Leigh started the second half with more attacking purpose but again lacked a cutting edge.

And they were again made to pay the price as Rovers stretched out to a 24-2 lead after 53 minutes.

Matty Storton grabbed a fourth try for their hosts with Dagger completing a hat-trick of conversions.

That should have been game over instead Leigh finally found their finishing skills. Keanan Brand’s try after 64 minutes initially looked to be nothing more than consolation.

The comeback gained momentum as Jacob Jones and then Joe Mellor touched down after 76 and 78 minutes with Krisnan Inu goaling both. But Rovers survived to record an eighth consecutive win over Centurions and fourth in the competition in five years.

Teams: Hull KR: Dagger; Keinhorst, Wood, Kenny-Dowall. Crooks; Lewis, Abdull; Garratt, Parcell, King, Linnett, Halton, Minchella; replacements: Storton, Sums, Milnes, Maher.

Tries: Halton, Lewis, Parcell, Storton Goals: Abdull 1/1, Dagger 3/3 Leigh Aekins; Brand, Chamberlain, Macdonald, Inu; Reynolds, Mellor; Sidlow, Smith, Amone, Wardle, Stone, Asiata; replacements: Ipape, Nisbet, Jones, Hingano.

Tries: Brand, Jones, Mellor Goals: Reynolds 1/1, Inu 2/3 Referee: Chris Kendall Half-time: 18-2 Attendance: 3,088