Leigh 36 – 30 Halifax

Craig Hall was Leigh’s match-winner four minutes from time, after a nerve-shredding game in the heat at LSV.

Halifax had fought back from 30-18 down to tie the scores with just seven minutes remaining before Hall supported a Rhys Evans burst down the touchline to glide over for the clinching score in front of the North Stand.

Man of the match Liam Hood and Nick Gregson each scored two tries for the Centurions, while Ben Reynolds kicked six from six.

Leigh Centurions head coach Kieron Purtill said: “We keep winning games but still can’t get in that top four so every game is a must win game. Today was no exception. The season’s coming to an end pretty quickly now and we still have a lot of big games to come.

“I thought Haliifax were terrific today and we got of jail a little bit. We weren’t at our best but we got a win out of it which was the pleasing thing.

“We showed good character to come back into the game. Liam Hood was fantastic again today- he’s been good all year and it was good to see Nick Gregson get his tries. Nick’s a fantastic lad and he trains hard every single day and his attitude never falters. He came into a game like that today and took his chance.

“We didn’t start the year well, then we gave ourselves a chance only to take our foot off the pedal a little bit. The game was like that today, we invited them back into the game and put ourselves under pressure. We have a big game at Toulouse next week and we have to smarter in all aspects of the game.

“To win ugly we will take as a positive.”

The teams went in level, 6-6, at the break after an error ridden first half that Fax survived despite being short-handed for ten minutes when Ed Barber was sin binned on the half hour.

Though Hood fought his way over from dummy half to open the scoring the influential Scott Murrell replied for the visitors.

Fax started the second half with a two-try scoring burst as Kieren Moss and Murrell opened up an 18-6 lead but Leigh fought back to draw level as Jamie Acton went over from Drew Hutchison’s defence splitting inside pass before Ben Crooks jumped high to knock back Hutchison’s kick for Gregson to pounce for his first try for the club.

When Hood went over for his 14th try of the season and Gregson grabbed his second after supporting Crooks’ piercing run the Centurions had opened up a 12-point lead with 24 points in an inspired 14-minute spell.

But back came Fax as Ben Johnston burst through from distance to score before Ben Heaton collected Murrell’s kick to the corner to run round and make Shane Grady’s fifth conversion straightforward.

It was anyone’s game until Hall came up trumps with his 15th try of the season to give Leigh a vital win.

Leigh Centurions: Jack Owens; Ricky Bailey, Ben Crooks, Craig Hall, Rhys Evans; Ben Reynolds, Drew Hutchison; Nathan Mason, Liam Hood, Jamie Acton, Harrison Hansen, Bodene Thompson, Nick Gregson. Interchange: Daniel Mortimer, Ryan Bailey, Greg Richards, Jordan Thompson.

Tries: Hood (17, 63), Acton (51), Gregson (58, 65), Hall (76).
Goals: Reynolds 6/ 6.

Halifax: Kieren Moss; James Saltonstall, Ed Barber, Chester Butler, Ben Heaton; Scott Murrell, Ben Johnston; Dan Fleming, Ben Kaye, Jacob Fairbank, Adam Tangata, Shane Grady, Simon Grix. Interchange: Elliot Morris, Brandon Moore, Will Maher, James Green.

Tries: Murrell (25, 46), Moss (41), Johnston (70), Heaton (73).
Goals: Grady 5/ 5.

Sin bin: Barber (30).
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas;
Half-time: 6-6.
Attendance: 3,891.
Penalty count: 3-6.

Main Match Sponsor: Impact Insurance;
Associate Sponsor: Balmer Wilcock;
Match Ball Sponsor: Collins & Darwell;
Programme Sponsor: The Bullock Family;
Mascot: Billy Adams;
Man of the Match: Liam Hood.

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