BEN Reynolds made a try scoring return as Leigh overwhelmed already relegated Rochdale Hornets 50-18 at the Crown Oil Arena.

All but two of Centurions’ nine touch downs came in the opening 28 minutes as Matt Calland’s side was brushed aside by the rampant visitors.

With three games of the regular campaign remaining Leigh have all but secured their top five play-off status.

And while there will be far more difficult challenges ahead for the remainder of the season, the visitors showed excellent finishing skills.

Reynolds, who had already played on Featherstone’s winning side against John Duffy’s men this term, started the scoring after four minutes.

Adam Higson, Joe Cator, Ryan Brierley, Stefan Marsh, Toby Adamson and Jordan Thompson also crossed the whitewash as Leigh led 40-0 after just 28 minutes.

That blistering start also saw Micky Higham and Hornets’ Shaun Ainscough sin binned for fighting.

“We were outstanding in that first half,” said Duffy. “We dropped our standards towards the end of the game and they scored a couple of breakaway tries.

“We just went away from our game plan but I was happy with the performance.

“Maybe we should have scored a couple more and we created a number of chances second half that we didn’t take.

“However, for sticking to the game plan that first half hour ranks as good as we have played all season.”

Reynolds, signed from Wakefield until the end of 2020, linked up with Martyn Ridyard at half back with Ryan Brierley moved to full-back.

He looked like he’d never been away as Leigh moved into third after York’s defeat at pacesetters Toronto.

“I thought Ben was outstanding,” agreed Duffy. “He only had a couple of sessions with us and he will get better each week.

“The lads have been great with him but he knows them all as well from the last time he was here.”

Hornets, who have now lost 23 of their 24 league games in 2019, opened their account through Dan Abram five minutes before the break.

And they also had the last word with touchdowns from Aidan Gleeson and Ainscough in the last 10 minutes.

In between, Adamson and Cory Paterson crossed for Centurions as they re-discovered their scoring edge.

Match stats:

Hornets: Abram; Ainscough, Williams, B Wood, Brown; Barran, Farrell; Gleeson, Sheridan, Marriott, Syme, Baker, Shelford; substitutes: C Wood, Thomas, Mitchell, Bourrel.

Tries: Abram (35), Gleeson (75), Ainscough (79)

Goals: Abram (3)

Centurions: Brierley; Higson, Forsyth, Sa’u, Marsh; Ridyard, Reynolds; Paterson, Higham, Thompson, T Adamson, Brooks, Cator; substitutes: Eaves, Cox, Clark, Emmitt.

Tries: Reynolds (4), Higson (7), Cator (10), Brierley (16), Marsh (19), Adamson (25, 61), Thompson (28), Paterson (67)

Goals: Ridyard (7)

Referee: Billy Pearson

Attendance: 1,019