Leigh Centurions brought the curtain down on the Betfred Championship Summer Bash weekend with an outstanding six-try victory over the Vikings at Bloomfield Road.
 Ryan Brierley and Gregg McNally each scored braces and Martyn Ridyard kicked six goals as Leigh avenged their Good Friday defeat against Kieron Purtill’s team.
 Both sides played outstanding attacking football in the sunshine to showcase the increasing quality of the competition. The Vikings fought back superbly from trailing 30-6 to get within eight points before McNally’s superb finish in the corner with three minutes left on the clock sealed Leigh’s fourth win on the bounce.
 Head coach John Duffy said: “The game was everything we expected it to be. It was a great weekend of Rugby League, finished off by that magnificent performance by us. That was for our fans today. We went to Widnes on Good Friday and didn’t turn up and I’ve been waiting for this game ever since.
 “The fans turned up today like they always do, and we owed them that. The lads were outstanding- we only dropped one set the whole game and so our completion rate was very high all game. We had a couple of shaky moments in that second half, but we battled through and came out with a great win against a great team.
 “We’ve had a great week, the boys have been superb all week, they’ve ripped in and we topped that off with a great performance. It’s only just sunk into them what a derby game is and Widnes is our derby game. That was for the fans.
 “We came here to perform, and we were outstanding across the board.”
 Lloyd Roby and Ridyard traded early penalties before Widnes hit the front when Tom Gilmore’s precision cross-field kick fell perfectly for Owen Buckley to score in the corner.
 But Leigh went on to dominate the rest of a fast-moving first half with Josh Woods playing a crucial role. Woods’ short pass unlocked the Vikings defence for Toby Adamson to plunge over and he ended the half with a precision angled kick expertly finished off by Brierley.
 In between those scores Josh Simm, the 18-year-old making an impressive senior debut on dual registration from St Helens, somehow offloaded in a massed tackle for McNally to squirm in by the flag.
 With Ridyard tagging on two conversions Leigh took an 18-6 lead into the break.
 Duffy’s men started the second half in dominant form attacking the massed ranks of their fans in the North Stand. Ridyard kicked his second penalty before Iain Thornley’s superb inside pass sent Brierley gliding over for his second try.
 When a Ridyard 40-20 set up the position for Liam Hood’s ball skills to provide the opening for James Laithwaite to score Leigh had opened up a 30-6 lead.
 But Widnes fought back, inspired by halfback Danny Craven, so often a thorn in Leigh’s side.
 Craven began the revival as he dummied his way over before Roby cut inside the cover to score. With the Vikings enjoying a purple patch and dominating possession, Craven grabbed his second try and though Roby was off target with the conversion attempt the game was in the balance with 14 minutes still remaining.
 But the Centurions steadied the ship and with the clocking down Brierley expertly joined the line in a move straight off the training ground for stand-in winger McNally to supply a sublime finish by the flag.
 A wonderful game of Rugby League with both sides and both sets of fans making it an occasion to remember.
 Leigh Centurions: Martyn Ridyard; Gregg McNally, Josh Simm, Iain Thornley, Stefan Marsh; Ryan Brierley, Josh Woods; Luke Douglas, Micky Higham, Jake Emmitt, Toby Adamson, James Laithwaite, Joe Cator.
 Interchange: Liam Hood, Tom Spencer, Andy Thornley, Joe Batchelor.
 Tries: Adamson (24), McNally (27, 77), Brierley (36, 44), Laithwaite (47);
 Goals: Ridyard 6/ 8.
 Widnes Vikings: Lloyd Roby; Jayden Hatton, Chris Dean, Keenan Brand, Owen Buckley; Danny Craven, Tom Gilmore; Ted Chapelhow, Jordan Johnstone, James Chapelhow, Sam Wilde, Brad Walker, Hep Cahill.
 Interchange: Harrison Hansen, Josh Ganson, Owen Farnworth, MacGraff Leuluai.
 Tries: Buckley (17), Craven (56, 66), Roby (61);
 Goals: Roby 3/ 5.
 Referee: Greg Dolan;
 Attendance: 7,158;
 Penalty count: 5-5;
 Half-time: 18-6.

Photos by kind courtesy of SWPix