LEIGH'S wait for a first ever win at the Brick Community Stadium goes on as leaders Wigan extended their home hoodoo over their neighbours with a 24-6 win

In a bruising and absorbing battle of the borough, Leopards conceded 16 unanswered points after Brad Dwyer’s early second half touchdown gave them a sniff of a history making victory.

Full-back Bevan French reprised last season’s Man of Steel form with a try in each half.

Winger Liam Marshall grabbed his latest effort with a spectacular finish while Liam Farrell rounded off victory with a last-minute effort.

Leigh’s painful night also ended with a first half rib injury for winger Josh Charnley, overshadowing the returns from injury of Robbie Mulhern, Gareth O’Brien and skipper John Asiata.

It’s now 41 years since Leigh last won in Wigan-at Central Park- and they remain ninth, seven points from the play-offs ahead of next Friday’s long-awaited return to Leigh Sports Village.

There was certainly plenty of effort but the finishing skills of Marshall and in particular French ultimately made the difference.

The opening hit came within two minutes of kick-off. Warriors’ prop Mike Cooper hit the floor with a heavy thud and left the field for a head injury assessment he later failed.

As befitting this derby dust-up, there were plenty of feisty exchanges; Leigh born teenager Jack Farrimond tested Matt Moylan’s temperament with a high shot, leading to a visitors’ penalty.

Leigh looked most likely to breakthrough but stunning defence by French denied Edwin Ipape a solo score Farrell then wrapped up O’Brien as the returning playmaker darted for the line.

But it was Warriors who took a 20thth minute lead via Adam Keighran’s boot. Robbie Mulhern’s tackle on Kaide Ellis , after a lengthy injury stoppage, brought the prop forward 10 minutes in the bin from referee Aaron Moore.

Keighran’s penalty was almost immediately followed by a customary French try.

But it was Harry Smith’s long pass, Jake Wardle’s break and Wigan old boy’s Zak Hardaker’s missed tackle that presented French with a 20-metre run to the line.

Keighran goaled and the 12-men were two scores behind. Leigh’s attempt to find some fluency wasn’t helped by a massively disrupted opening period.

Ex Wigan favourite Charnley needed treatment for his rib problem while physios attended to Mulhern after Brad O’Neill’s tackle- in tandem with Farrell-left him winded.

O’Neill’s involvement was deemed worthy of a yellow card so Leopards started the second half with a one-man advantage.

But they had to do without Charnley whose woes left him unable to continue with Hardaker switching from right centre to left wing.

Hardaker didn’t have the greatest opening 40 minutes but his arrowing run almost produced a try after 47 minutes.

Instead, Umyla Handley, under pressure from Marshall, put his foot on the sideline as he dived for the corner.

Hardaker was snared on the opposite flank before O’Neill returned to bolster Wigan’s overworked defence.

Tom Amone became the latest player to leave the pitch for an HIA. But from the penalty Leigh eventually opened their points account.

Despite the proximity of three defenders, Dwyer freed an arm to register a 53rd minute try in front of the Leigh fans. Matt Moylan’s conversion cut Wigan’s lead to two points.

But hopes of that elusive first win at the DW Stadium practically evaporated when Wigan struck twice in two minutes with two stunning tries.

Marshall extended his lead as Super League’s top try scorer, lifting off above Hanley before landing a dream finish for his 17th of the campaign.

Warriors weren’t finished and French flew out of the traps, kicked ahead and won the foot race to touch down. Keighran goaled and Wigan led 18-6.

There was no way back for the visitors and evergreen Farrell added Wigan’s fourth try on the final hooter, goaled by Keighran.

Match stats: Wigan: French; Miski, Keighran, Wardle, Marshall; Farrimond, Smith; Cooper, O’Neill, Thompson, Nsemba, Farrell, Ellis; substitutes: Havard, Mago, Dupree, Walters.

Tries: French (22, 60), Marshall (58), Farrell (80).

Goals: Keighran 4/ 5.

Leigh: Moylan; Hanley, Hardaker, Leutele, Charnley; O’Brien, Lam; Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Chamberlain, Trout; Pene, Dwyer, Hughes, Asiata.

Tries: Dwyer.

Goals: Moylan.

Half-time: 8-0.

Referee: Aaron Moore.

Attendance: 16,053.