Batley Bulldogs 12 Leigh Centurions 30.

IT wouldn’t be Leigh if they did things the easy way. And this was never going to be a stroll in the sun after Jamie Acton’s early dismissal for a high tackle.

But down to 12-men after just six minutes and trailing 12-4 at half-time Centurions found a way to claim two of their most valuable points of the season.

Victory still doesn’t lift Kieron Purtill’s side into the top four of the Betfred Championship.

But that task would have been so much harder had it not rallied after half-time and skipper Harrison Hansen leading by example.

‘Captain Fantastic’ Hansen touched down twice during a run of 28 unanswered points to ensure a third victory over the Bulldogs in 2018.

“We came together as a group, led from the front by our captain,” said Purtill.

“His determination to run hard saw him lead his team forward and we came away with the two points.

“With 12 men, backing up on a tough trip to Toronto we dug deep for one another and kept our hopes of the top four alive.”

Leigh suffered a set-back even before kick-off as Rhys Evans pulled out with injury in the warm-up.

But replacement Ilias Bergal was to go and bag a brace of tries in the second half fightback.

Such a recovery was in doubt as Keenan Tomlinson scored a first minute try converted by Patch Walker.

Then Acton, recalled to the team after missing games against Dewsbury and Toronto through concussion, went high on Tom Hemingway and saw red from James Child.

Hemingway’s hospitalising injury saw a near 10-minute stoppage before Jonny Campbell extended Batley’s lead after 20 minutes.

Bergal gave Leigh hope with a 28th minute touch down but Walker’s penalty gave Batley a 12-4 interval advantage.

Leigh’s 12-men, helped by playing down Batley’s notorious slope in the second period, weren’t finished.

Ricky Bailey reduced the arears with a 44th minute try while five minutes later Hansen barged over for Ben Reynolds to convert and put Leigh ahead for the first time.

Reynolds grabbed Leigh’s third try in 13 minutes to extend the visitors’ advantage before Hansen gave Centurions further breathing space with a second try after 62 minutes.

And victory was never in doubt by the time Bergal went over in the final minute.

*Leigh have released prop Paterika Vaivai and Larne Patrick from their contracts and signed Adam Walne on loan from Huddersfield until the end of the season.

Vaivai wasn’t due to play again this season after suffering injury against London Broncos on Easter Monday while Paterika announced his retirement on social media.

He posted: “The time has come for me to hang my boots up. It’s been a crazy 10 years professionally and 25 years in total which has been full of its highs and lows.

“I am now ready for a new challenge and look forward to whatever it may be.” Patrick hasn’t played for Leigh since April 8 and has been on loan at Workington Town.

Match stats:

Batley: Scott; Tomlinson, Smeaton, Galbraith, Campbell; Walker, Hemingway; Lillycrop, Leak, Rowe, Manning, Harrison, Farrell.

Substitutes: Ward, Davey, Chandler, Bretherton.

Tries: Tomlinson (2), Campbell (21)

Goals: Walker 2/ 3.

Leigh: Owens; Ricky Bailey, Crooks, Hall, Bergal; Reynolds, Hutchison; Ryan Bailey, Hood, Acton, Larroyer, Hansen, J Thompson.

Substitutes: Mortimer, Richards, Blagbrough, Walne.

Tries: Bergal (23, 79), Ricky Bailey (45), Hansen (49, 62), Reynolds (58)

Goals: Reynolds 3/ 6.

Referee: James Child;

Attendance: 1,223;

Half-time: 12-4.