HOMEGROWN debutants Sam Peet and Bradley Whelan put pride and passion back in a Leigh jersey as the Centurions returned to winning ways in the Betfred Championship Shield.

Featherstone’s victory at Sheffield 48 hours earlier keeps Rovers in pole position to host next month’s final.

But this nine-try win, including touchdowns for Peet and Whelan, showed Leigh can capitalise if John Duffy’s side slip up in its next three games.

Certainly after the embarrassment of losing to 14-man ‘Fev’ a week earlier, this third win of the year over Swinton was much more like it from the Centurions.

For ex-Leigh reserve teamer Peet, it was a happy return to action after lengthy shoulder problems while Whelan from Leigh East made the most of his brief appearance, scoring his try just before the end.

“I thought the players were very professional in all that they did,” said head coach Kieron Purtill. “They turned it around from the Featherstone game.

“They copped a fair bit of criticism from me after that but now all they will receive is praise.

“It shows what happens when 17 blokes turn up and do their jobs. It was fantastic to see two local lads on debut scoring tries.

“Brad came through our Category 3 Academy and is the first to make his debut for the first team. For the long run of the club that’s the future.”

Garreth Carvell joined in the plaudits for Whelan who finished off a left edge break by Ben Reynolds and Drew Hutchison. Taking to Twitter Carvell said: “Great to see Brad making progress . I had the pleasure of coaching him at @SalfordDevils academy. Talented lad and no doubt has the determination to do well in the game.”

Leigh’s atonement for the previous weekend’s result included a re-shuffle due to full-back Ben Reynolds suffering a cut to his head. Reynolds had to leave the field for treatment but later returned to complete a personal haul of 16 points.

Centurions scored three tries in the first 10 minutes to set-up victory with Kevin Larroyer and Jordan Walne joining Reynolds crossing the Lions’ line.

But an 18-0 lead was cut to 18-10 when Kyle Shelford and Andy Thornley responded for the visitors.

That, however, was as close as it got as Peet, playing against his former side, accepted Hutchison’s pass to score after 33 minutes. Nick Gregson, deputising for Reynolds as goal kicker, made it three from three for a 24-10 interval advantage.

The second half was even more one-sided with Reynolds returning to action and Hutchison pulling the strings.

The latter went over for a deserved try after 47 minutes as Swinton didn’t help their cause by losing Rob Fairclough to the sin bin for holding down.

Greg Richards, who scored only his second career try against Barrow last month, added numbers three and four in a 10-minute spell. In between, Larroyer notched his second of the afternoon before Whelan rounded things off perfectly in front of the North Stand.

Match stats:


Reynolds; Ricky Bailey, Evans, Dawson-Jones, Bergal; Gregson, Hutchison; Richards, Higham, A Walne, Larroyer, Blagbrough, J Walne.

Substitutes: Johnson, Peet, Dezaria, Whelan.

Tries: Larroyer (5, 62), Reynolds (8), J Walne (10), Peet (33), Hutchison (47), Richards (59, 68), Whelan (78).

Goals: Reynolds (6) Gregson (3).


Hansen; Butt, Brown, Tyson, Grey; Fairclough, Woods; Bracek, Waterworth, Wood, Shelford, Thornley, Hope.

Substitutes: Austin, Ganson, Hansen, Jones.

Tries: Shelford (14), Thornley (17);

Goals: Fairclough 1/ 2

Half-time: 24-10

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas

Attendance: 2,757