JOSH Charnley re-ignited Leigh’s Betfred Super League play-off ambitions with a historic two-try performance in Leopards’ sparkling seven-try 40-12 derby victory over Salford Red Devils.

Fresh from extending his career until the end of 2025 with a new contract, Charners’ double took his career tally to 300 touchdowns in 353 appearances.

The former Wigan and Warrington flyer is also now just six behind Ryan Hall on Super League’s all-time try scoring charts and seven adrift of leader Danny McGuire.

Fellow winger Umyla Hanley also notched a brace as Adrian Lam’s side cut the deficit on the top six to seven points, ahead of five successive away games.

Leigh never lost the lead on the way to their highest Super League score over Salford after Hanley opened the scoring.

And this was just the performance required after another week of rumours on the futures of Lam and key players.

Paul Rowley’s Salford remain sixth but will want to forget this result and display as quickly as possible.

Marc Sneyd’s uncharacteristic fumble gifted Leigh their first attacking platform from which Umyla Hanley grabbed his 11th try of the season.

Powerful drives by Robbie Mulhern and Tom Amone set-up the position and Hanley accepted Matt Moylan’s pass at the second attempt to score by the posts. Moylan goaled.

Charnley extended Leopards’ lead with his seventh try of the campaign after 13 minutes.

Lachlan Lam kicked to the corner on the last tackle and Charnley planted his left hand on the ball as he dived for the corner with Ethan Ryan. Moylan improved from the touchline.

Salford went close to an 18th minute reply but Charnley and Moylan were first to the ball before Ethan Ryan But from the goal line drop out Salford did open their account as Ryan Brierley ran onto Kallum Watkins’ offload to give Sneyd a simple conversion.

Off the back of a Sneyd 20/40, Salford momentarily thought they’d added a second score five minutes later. Instead, ex Leigh star Nene Macdonald was adjudged offside as he chased Ryan’s kick.

And it was Leigh who restored the two score lead seven minutes before half-time. Salford knocked on trying to intercept and moments later Lam’s floated pass allowed Hanley to run in from 20 metres.

Moylan missed the conversion and then a 40-metre penalty attempt after Amir Bourouh’s indiscretion on Brad Dwyer.

But it didn’t matter as Charnley and Leigh stretched their advantage with the winger’s historic try.

If his first was a short run to the line his second was a lung busting 80-metre surge, staying ahead of Brierley in the final strides to ground in front of the North stand. Hardaker took over kicking duties and nailed a superb effort from the side-line.

If the result remained in doubt, the two points came into sharp focus five minutes later. Lam and Kai O’Donnell combined and sent over Matt Davis for another converted touchdown.

Brad Dwyer notched a cheeky sixth try for the hosts and then set-up Lam for a deserved try 13 minutes from time.

Video referee Ben Thaler ruled out Charnley’s bid for a hat-trick and the last word went to Salford centre Tim Lafai with a consolation score.

Teams: Leigh: Moylan, Hanley, Hardaker, Leutele, Charnley; McNamara, Lam; Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Halton, Trout, Hughes; replacements: Davis, Chamberlain, Dwyer, McIntosh.

Tries: Hanley (6, 34), Charnley (13, 43), Davis (48), Dwyer (58), Lam (67).

Goals: Moylan 2/4, Hardaker 4/4.

Salford: Brierley; Ryan, Macdonald, Lafai, Cross, Atkin. Sneyd; Singleton, Cust, Ormondroyd, Stone, Watkins, Partington; Replacements: Bourouh, Vuniyayawa, Hellewell, Hankinson.

Tries: Brierley (19), Lafai (74).

Goals: Sneyd 2/2.

Referee: Liam Moore.

Half-time: 16-6.