Leigh 46 – 18 Barrow

Leigh Centurions avenged their early season Betfred Championship defeat at Craven Park, eventually running in eight tries against the Raiders at LSV.

Kieron Purtill’s side recorded their eighth successive victory with Drew Hutchison leading the way with a hat-trick but they had to dig deep after Barrow pulled back to 22-18 after 55 minutes with two second half tries.

Hutchison sealed the game for the home side and brought up his hat-trick with two tries in a four-minute spell before Liam Hood went over from dummy half for his seventh try in his last six games.

Craig Hall set the seal on a desperately hard-earned win, racing 90 metres for an interception try to take his tally to eight in his last four games.

Ben Reynolds contributed another 18 points to take his tally to 89pts in his last five games.

In truth it was a game unlikely to linger long in the memory with a total of 26 penalties, 14 in the first half and 12 in the second contributing to a stop-start afternoon.

Leigh Centurions caretaker coach Kieron Purtill said: “It was another win. I was really pleased with getting the two points. The game wasn’t a great spectacle and the tempo of the game was really slow.

“When the scores got close with one try in it we showed some good composure. I thought Ryan Bailey coming off the bench gave us a big lift. He showed his experience and what he’s been brought into the team to do.

“Barrow came with a game plan and executed it really well as they have done all year. That’s why they’ve taken some big scalps at their place. All credit to them, they’re a team that work hard for each other and they deserve to stay up this year.

“If you look at the teams that do well they have a spine, the 6, 7, 9 and the 1 and we’ve been consistent in that area and only made one or two changes. Consistency is the key and the boys are getting rewarded for playing well.

“If I’m being honest I didn’t think it was one of Drew’s better games. The game didn’t suit him with it being so slow but he showed some good composure at times and took his tries well.

“Eight from eight but we have to keep winning. We haven’t achieved anything yet and as I keep re-iterating we are a long way from where we need to be. We will focus on each game and London is a tough game and we have to go there and get the two points as well. They’re a good team and fighting to stay in the top four and we will have to be at our best to get something out of it.”

Leigh made a lightning start with quick-fire tries by Hutchison and Reynolds but ex-Leigh forward Joe Bullock ploughed under the posts to open Barrow’s account and demonstrate his side’s resolve.

Despite opening up a 22-6 half-time lead with further tries by Bailey- his first for the club- and Matty Dawson-Jones Leigh struggled at the start of the second half as the visitors threatened a comeback.

Tries by Jarrad Stack and Brett Carter and two more Jamie Dallimore goals close the gap to just four points and there were more anxious moments for the home fans in a 3,000 plus crowd before Hutchison eased their worries.

Leigh Centurions now travel to Ealing next Sunday for their third game in five weeks against London Broncos before returning to face Salford Red Devils in the last 16 of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup at LSV on Friday 11 May (7-35pm).

Leigh Centurions: Peter Matautia; Matty Dawson-Jones, Rhys Evans, Craig Hall, Jack Owens; Ben Reynolds, Drew Hutchison; Nathan Mason, Liam Hood, Jamie Acton, Harrison Hansen, Bodene Thompson, Jordan Thompson. Interchange: Micky Higham, Ryan Bailey, Greg Richards, Kevin Larroyer.

Tries: Hutchison (3, 69, 73), Reynolds (10), Bailey (32), Dawson-Jones (35), Hood (76), Hall (80);
Goals: Reynolds 7/ 8.

Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse; Brett Carter, Declan Hulme, Andy Litherland, Gene Ormsby; Jamie Dallimore, Ryan Johnston; Joe Bullock, Nathan Mossop, Alex Susino, Jono Smith, Jarrad Stack, Martin Aspinwall. Interchange: Dean Parata, Bradd Crellin, Dan Toal, Ryan Duffy.

Tries: Bullock (18), Stack (46), Carter (55);
Goals: Dallimore 3/ 3.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths;
Penalty count:
Attendance: 3,228;
Half-time: 22-6;

Leigh Centurions Man of the Match: Drew Hutchison;
Main Match Sponsor: M Logan & Sons;
Associate Sponsor: Hilltop Products;
Match Ball Sponsor: The Hill Family;
Programme Sponsor: Zaun Group;
Matchday Mascots: Matthew Donoghue and Jasmine Barlow.

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