Leigh 38 – 0 Barrow

Leigh Centurions continued their unbeaten start to the Betfred Championship Shield with a clinical display to nil Barrow Raiders at LSV.

Kieron Purtill’s side notched their 17th win in their last 19 league games with some effervescent attacking football in a fluid first half when they scored fine five tries.

The second half was a stop-start affair punctuated by injuries and though Leigh failed to recreate their first half attacking play their resolute and mean defence kept the Barrow scoresheet blank.

“Defensively we were very good and showed a lot of effort and desire,” Purtill said. “If you look at the big picture there’s not a great deal to play for. We’re already in a final and we’re playing for home advantage and personal pride.

“Hopefully we’ll keep the winning run going and get the final on our home field.

“First half we were very good but in the second half there were a lot of stoppages for injuries and it was very slow.

“As a group game day is a release from things that have been going on during the week and we came together and enjoyed our rugby and the crowd responded.”

Purtill singled out Micky Higham, Jack Owens and Jordan Walne for special praise in a solid team performance in which Josh Johnson made a fine debut to earn Heritage Number #1460.

But there was concern for fullback Will Dagger who was taken to hospital after a head knock saw him leave the field in the 31st minute.

“Will is not too good and he failed the head test to come back on,” Purtill added. “He is probably going to spend the night in hospital and they will monitor him. Hopefully there’s nothing long term and he’ll get over the concussion in a couple of days.”

Sponsors Man of the Match Ben Reynolds set up Kevin Larroyer for the opening try with Leigh short-handed after Dagger was sin binned.

Ricky Bailey went over after Rhys Evans cleverly flicked back a loose ball before Greg Richards ploughed over for his first Leigh try from Higham’s assist.

Owens, who played in four or five positions during the game supported a stunning 80-metre Drew Hutchison run to score Leigh’s fourth and Matty Dawson-Jones finished off a flowing move to score wide out.

Three Reynolds goals had Leigh 26-0 up at half-time and they added two converted tries in the second half.

Walne’s support play saw him score his first Leigh try in front of the North Stand and Reynolds finished the game in style with a spectacular dive in the right corner and the touchline goal to crown another dominant home display.

Leigh Centurions: Will Dagger; Ricky Bailey, Rhys Evans, Matty Dawson-Jones, Jack Owens; Ben Reynolds, Drew Hutchison; Greg Richards, Micky Higham, Nathan Mason, Kevin Larroyer, Jordan Walne, Jordan Dezaria.

Interchange: Nick Gregson, Jack Blagbrough, Josh Johnson, Mitch Cox.

Tries: Larroyer (10), Bailey (19), Owens (26), Richards (29), Dawson-Jones (38), J Walne (45), Reynolds (79)
Goals: Reynolds 5/ 7

Sin bin: Dagger (7) mis-timed tackle

Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse; Georgy Gambaro, Ryan Burroughs, Tom Loxam, Brett Carter; Jamie Dallimore, Ryan Johnston; Alex Susino, Dean Parata, Arnaud Bartes, Jono Smith, Bradd Crellin, Martin Aspinwall.

Interchange: Nathan Mossop, Saloty Mendy, Dan Toal, Glenn Riley.

Referee: Tom Grant

Main Match sponsor: Kukri
Leigh Centurions Man of the Match: Ben Reynolds
Attendance: 2,646
Half-time: 26-0
Penalty count: 9-7

Photos courtesy of OnionBag Photography

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