RYAN Brierley, clocked up 1000th career points, starting and finishing a nine-try, winning home coming for Leigh’s ever evolving squad on its return to Leigh Sports Village.

Since a 52-20 victory over Bradford Bulls on June 16, John Duffy’s side has played five successive away fixtures, winning four while constantly adding strength in depth to its playing roster.

Junior Sa’u and Mitch Clark were handed debuts along with prodigal son Adam Higson against Batley whose defeat leaves them at the wrong end of the Betfred Championship table.

In contrast, Leigh remain fourth, level on points with third placed Toulouse and only one point adrift of second on the ladder, York City Knights.

Brierley, back in harness after his recent leg injury, scored 20 points, Iain Thornley touched down once in each half on his 150th career appearance while Micky Higham opened his try account for the season late in the game.

Thornley’s superb opener and the fourth of Brierley’s six goals gave Leigh a 24-0 lead after only 24 minutes.

Bulldogs showed plenty of endeavour to halve their deficit only for Woods to break the game open once more with Leigh’s fifth try just before the interval to make the rest of the game an easier task.

“We scored some great tries early on but we’ve been a sucker to that this season, shutting up shop after going ahead early on,” said coach Duffy.

“All credit to Batley, they came and had a real go. But we made things difficult for ourselves with our errors, particularly at the start of the second half.”

Brierley, partnering Woods in the halves, touched down after just two minutes to put Leigh on the victory trail and reach four figures in his career.

Joe Cator crossed nine minutes later against opponents who had held York to a draw in their previous outing.

Luke Douglas went through for try number three in what was quickly becoming a happy homecoming.

Thornley then contributed his 15th try of the campaign before Bulldogs bit back with tries from Sam Walters-on debut-and Louis Jouffret.

However, Woods registered his third try of 2019 to put Leigh into a commanding position at the break.

But it wasn’t until the final quarter when Centurions found their scoring touch again.

Thornley moved to within one try of top scorer Gregg McNally 15 minutes from time before Higham, Stefan Marsh and Brierley further punished the tiring Bulldogs as Leigh rounded off in style before Sunday’s AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-final clash against Widnes.

And if results work out, the next time Leigh and Batley oppose each other could be the final at Wembley on August 24!

Match stats:

Leigh: McNally; Higson, I Thornley, Sa’u, Marsh; Brierley, Woods; Douglas, Higham, L. Adamson, T Adamson, Paterson, Cater; substitutes: Hood, Clark, Emmitt, Thompson.

Tries: Brierley (2, 80), Cator (11), Douglas (19), I Thornley (22, 65), Woods (39), Higham (72), Marsh (79)

Goals: Brierley (6)

Batley:Scott; Reittie, Smeaton, Broadbent, Tomlinson; Jouffret, Yates; Gledhill, Leak, Dickinson, Walters, Wood, Bienek; substitutes: Butterworth, Everett, Lillycrop, Ward.

Tries: Walters (32), Jouffret (38)

Goals: Jouffret (2)

Referee: Billy Pearson

Half-time: 30-12

Attendance: 3,125