Leigh 29 – 20 Featherstone

Leigh Centurions staged a stirring second half revival to come out on top against an impressive Featherstone Rovers side at LSV.

Trailing 14-10 at the break, John Duffy’s side dominated after the re-start to claim their second win in three Betfred Championship games.

Martyn Ridyard was awarded the sponsors Man of the Match against his old club, scoring a trademark try, creating another for Aaron Smith and kicking four goals and a drop-goal.

Saints halfback Danny Richardson slotted in effectively on his Leigh debut, earning heritage number #1480 but Duffy singled out Toby Adamson for his outstanding all-round performance in the Leigh pack.

Fullback Gregg McNally celebrated his 150th Leigh appearance with an early try but suffered a quad injury which Leigh will monitor this week.

Andy Thornley, celebrating his 200th senior game, had stitches as souvenirs, and was another stand-out in a pulsating game that was a credit to the competition.

Twenty years on from his senior debut for the Centurions at Barrow skipper Micky Higham typically led from the front.

It was a sign of the changing nature of the two sides that none of the Leigh side that lost to Featherstone in the Championship Shield Final last October featured in the game while Rovers had four players from that game in their seventeen- Luke Cooper, Harry Newman, James Lockwood and Danny Maskill.

Sam Brooks and Ridyard, who both played for Rovers in that 42-10 win were in the Centurions ranks.

Reflecting on the win Duffy said: “We pretty much started as we did last week. We knew Featherstone would come out and be aggressive with us and they did really well, to be fair. They’re going to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

“We just didn’t seem at it in that first half and it’s taken me ripping the dressing room to shreds at half-time to get a reaction, which I shouldn’t have to do.

“That said, I thought we were outstanding in the second half and managed the game well and played when we needed to. We got a good win in the end.”

After Watson Boas kicked an early penalty for Rovers, Leigh bounced back with tries by McNally and Luke Douglas as Brad Day was yellow carded for an offence in the tackle.

Rovers began to dominate possession and territory on the back of a run of penalties and earned that half-time lead with tries by Daniel Smith, Luke Briscoe and Newman.

With Duffy’s team talk ringing in their ears Leigh came out firing and after Tom Spencer ploughed over by the posts never looked back.

Ridyard’s trademark ‘show and go’ saw him claim a much-celebrated try against his former club in front of the North Stand before he created a try for Smith by taking on the close-range Rovers defence.

Ridyard tagged on a drop-goal and though Watson Boas pulled back six points after another free-flowing move time ran out for Rovers.

Leigh Centurions: Gregg McNally; Jonny Pownall, Matty Costello, Iain Thornley, Stefan Marsh; Martyn Ridyard, Danny Richardson; Jack Ashworth, Micky Higham (capt), Luke Douglas, Toby Adamson, Andy Thornley, Sam Brooks.
Interchange: Aaron Smith, Joe Cator, Tom Spencer, Luke Adamson.

Tries: McNally (6), Douglas (17), Spencer (43), Ridyard (49), Smith (59);
Goals: Ridyard 4/ 5;
Drop-goal: Ridyard (72)

Featherstone Rovers: Calum Turner; Harry Newman, Alex Sutcliffe, Thompson Teteh, Luke Briscoe; Ase Boas, Watson Boas; Scott Wheeldon, Cameron King, Jack Ormondroyd, Brad Day, Josh Walters, Daniel Smith.
Interchange: Luke Cooper, James Lockwood, Danny Maskill, Jack Render.

Tries: Smith (23), Briscoe (33), Newman (38), W Boas (80);
Goals: W Boas 2/ 3, King 0/ 2.

Referee: Jack Smith;

Attendance: 3,443;
Half-time: 10-14;
Penalty count: 8-11;

Man of the Match: Martyn Ridyard;
Main Match Sponsor: RM Couriers;
Match Ball Sponsor: Monty’s Cabaret Bar
Programme Sponsor: Zaun Group.

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