Swinton 12 – 30 Leigh

Leigh Centurions earned their first away win of the season in the Betfred Championship in an exciting local derby on a wintry afternoon at Heywood Road against a resilient Swinton Lions.

Head Coach John Duffy was delighted with the efforts of his side. “It was a very tough game in bad conditions and we are delighted to get our first away win with a good performance,” he said.

“We knew it was going to be tough as Swinton may not have had the results but they’ve been playing well and the weather was bad during the game.

“The wind was really bad especially coming up towards the clubhouse in the second half. But we coped really well with that and looked a lot more fluid in attack than we have done lately.

“We had some big performers out there- Joe Cator’s played 80 minutes through the middle again and Liam Hood and Micky Higham were great. It’s good to have Hoody back. And Dan Richardson, who’s had a bit of adversity this year, has come through and had an outstanding game for us and got us through for the win.

 “Luke Douglas pulled out with a virus in the lead-up to the game. He’s been our talisman so far but the other lads stood up to be counted. We still have a lot to work on, but this was a really important win and shows we are going in the right direction.

“Our fans have backed us superbly home and away and I hope that continues. It was great to see so many Leigh supporters there today and their contribution is really important.”

Leigh built a 20-0 half-time lead with four tries, three in a purple patch just before the interval.

Stefan Marsh opened the scoring in the left corner after Martyn Ridyard and the fit-again Gregg McNally combined superbly.

That followed a fiery opening as Oliver Partington and Luke Adamson were both sin-binned in the aftermath to a flare-up.

 Hood marked his seamless return to the Centurions ranks with a close-range try before McNally sliced over before Matty Costello completed a flowing move after the siren had sounded.

Stuart Littler’s Swinton side had long spells of possession and pressure during the game and severely tested the Centurions defence. They finally broke through when impressive winger Matty Ashton scored the first of his brace of tries.

Richardson, increasingly influential, took on the Lions line to create the game-clinching try for Toby Adamson who continued his impressive start to the campaign.

And though Ashton’s second, following a brilliant Lions length-of-the-field move was the try of the game, Leigh had the final say when Marsh grabbed his second following Richardson’s long pass.

Costello and James Bentley- a non-stop worker in the second row were other Saints dual registration players to impress in what was a valuable and hard-earned win against a side that looks sure to pick up points soon.

Swinton Lions: Jack Hansen; Matty Ashton, Liam Forsyth, Daley Williams, Mike Butt; Harry Smith, Rob Fairclough; Gavin Bennion, Luke Waterworth, Lewis Hatton, Kyle Shelford, Frankie Halton, Oliver Partington.

Interchange: Jose Kenga, Jamie Acton, Billy Brickhill, Adam Jones.

Tries: Ashton (47, 71);
Goals: Smith 2/ 2.

Leigh Centurions: Gregg McNally; Jonny Pownall, Matty Costello, Iain Thornley, Stefan Marsh; Martyn Ridyard, Daniel Richardson; Luke Adamson, Micky Higham, Sam Brooks, Toby Adamson, James Bentley, Joe Cator.

Interchange: Liam Hood, Tom Spencer, Andy Thornley, Nick Gregson.

Tries: Marsh (3, 80), Hood (33), McNally (39), Costello (40), T Adamson (58);
Goals: Ridyard 3/ 5, Richardson 0/ 1.

Referee: Greg Dolan;
Attendance: 2, 054;
Half-time: 0-20;
Penalty count: 11-12.

Related posts