KIERON Purtill hailed Leigh’s comeback win as “massive” after Craig Hall grabbed a 77th minute match clinching try.

Centurions, who had trailed 18-6, remain outside the Betfred Championship top four ahead of five successive away trips including to Toulouse and Toronto.

So, defeat, while not terminal, would have left Leigh’s chances of making the Middle 8’s hanging by a thread.

“We know every game is must win if we want to get in the top four so it was massive,” said Purtill after his first win as head coach.

“We are winning games but don’t seem to be moving up the table. So, we have to keep chipping away.

“The season is coming to an end pretty quickly and we have some big games in front of us.

“I thought Halifax were terrific and Richard Marshall is doing a great job. And we probably got out of jail as we weren’t at our best.

“But we got the win which was the pleasing thing.”

Such a scenario looked unlikely when Leigh trailed by 12 points early in the second half having reached half-time level at six-all against the part timers.

That bleak score line led to owner Derek Beaumont having a brief chat with his coaching team sat at the back of the press box.

Somewhere the penny dropped because for the next 15 minutes Leigh proved unplayable, plundering 24 unanswered points with tries from: Jamie Acton, Nick Gregson, Liam Hood-his second of the game-and Gregson once more.

Ben Reynolds kicked all four conversions and finished the contest with six from six.

But leading 30-18, Leigh contrived to throw a lifeline to the visitors bidding for a first win at Leigh Sports Village since 2012.

Half back Ben Johnston’s second touchdown of the afternoon quickly followed by Ben Heaton’s try, both improved by Shane Grady, saw the teams level again at 30-all with seven minutes to play.

There was one final twist in a breath taking second period of 54 points.

Rhys Evans raced down the Leigh left and threw the ball back inside where Hall was waiting to steam over by the posts much to the jubilation of the North Standers.

The opening 40 minutes had been tame in comparison. Liam Hood’s 13th try of the campaign put Leigh in front only for Scott Murrell to reply for the Shaymen.

Leigh failed to add further points even with ‘Fax down to 12-men due to Ed Barber’s sin binning.

That lethargy continued as on loan debutant Kieren Moss and Johnston touched down inside five minutes to put Halifax in prime position for a win that was eventually snatched away from them.

Match stats


Owens; Ricky Bailey, Crooks, Hall, Evans; Reynolds, Hutchison; Mason, Hood, Acton, Hansen, B Thompson, Gregson; substitutes: Mortimer, Ryan Bailey, Richards, J Thompson.

Tries: Hood (15, 63), Acton (51), Gregson (58, 65), Hall (78)

Goals: Reynolds 6/6


Moss; Saltonstall, Barber, Butler, Heaton; Murrell, Johnston; Fleming, Kaye, Fairbank, Tangata, Grady, Grix; substitutes: Morris, Moore, Maher, Green.

Tries: Murrell (25), Moss (41), Johnston (46 and 71), Heaton (73)

Goals: Grady 5/5.

Half-time: 6-6.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas,

Attendance 3891.