KIERON Purtill declared himself satisfied after Leigh overcame a sticky start to avoid an embarrassing defeat against the competition’s bottom club.

Centurions recovered from 12-0 down and overcame the loss of Kevin Larroyer and Ilias Bergal to the sin bin to collect another Championship Shield win.

Hornets also had two men yellow carded by referee John McMullan who doled out 22 penalties in a frequently fractious encounter.

Larroyer atoned, however, for his ill-judged involvement in a second half flashpoint by scoring the clinching try after 64 minutes.

With three first half assists and four goals from five attempts, Ben Reynolds contribution was also vital

“The game had a bit of everything,” said head coach Purtill. “There were some good tries, a couple of scuffles, players in the sin bin.

“But I am really happy to get the two points particularly in the second half when defensively we were really good.

“The effort and desire were great and not to concede any points was really good.

“Rochdale have probably been given a bit of a lifeline as a group and as a club with the new structure coming out. They certainly played with plenty of energy and enthusiasm.

“But I was happy with the response. It’s been a long season, we have got some guys who are not 100 percent and so to turn a big effort round was really good.

“I thought Micky Higham was outstanding. It’s his birthday (38 on Tuesday) and he led from the front and was probably the one who dragged us back into it.”

Taken aback by the home side’s rapid start, Leigh trailed 12-0 after only seven minutes.

Full-back Richard Lepori notched an excellent solo touch down before linking with impressive centre Setareki Talatoka to send in Danny Yates by the posts.

Tyler Whittaker goaled both and Centurions were already on the ropes.

But to the rescue came Reynolds who provided the final passes for Jordan Walne, Ricky Bailey and Ilias Bergal to score three tries in seven minutes.

Reynolds twice converted and Leigh led 16-12. Undeterred Hornets hit back and as the game grew increasingly bad-tempered Whittaker booted two penalties to tie the scores.

That ill feeling boiled over after the break with Larroyer and Toby Adamson sent to cool off for 10 minutes. They were still on the side lines when Richard Lepori and Bergal joined them.

Reynolds nudged Leigh back in front with a 63rd minute penalty before Larroyer seized on Deon Cross’s hesitancy after a probing Jack Owens kick.

Match stats: Rochdale: Lepori; Cross, T. Adamson, Talatoka, Massam; Whittaker, Yates; Hatton, Brickhill, Moran, Mitchell, L Adamson, Taira; substitutes: Gregory, Gaskell, Ryan, Millington.

Tries: Lepori (5), Yates (7)

Goals: Whittaker (4).

Leigh: Reynolds; Bailey, Owens, Dawson-Jones, Bergal; Gregson, Hutchinson; Richards, Higham, A Walne, Larroyer, Blagborough, J Walne; substitutes: Johnson, Peet, Cox, Dezaria.

Tries: J Walne (14), Bailey (18), Bergal (20), Larroyer (64)

Goals: Reynolds (4).

Referee: John McMullan.

Half-time: 16-16.

Attendance: 834.