RUGBY LEAGUE: Leigh Centurions 52 Batley Bulldogs 12

Oliver Wilkes, one of the Leigh try scorers

Oliver Wilkes, one of the Leigh try scorers

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LEIGH began their 2014 Kingstone Press Championship campaign with a thumping nine-try win against Batley Bulldogs last night.

The hosts handed debuts to eight of their pre-season signings, including former Bulldogs winger Alex Brown.

He didn’t end up on the scoresheet but gave an impressive contribution alongside Oliver Wilkes, Sam Barlow, Jake Emmitt and particularly Matty Sarsfield.

Batley opened the scoring when Miles Greenwood touched down an inviting kick and Scott Leatherbarrow converted but when Leigh found their form they were irrepressible.

Stuart Littler grabbed the host’s first try and by half time Ryan Brierley, two, and Bob Beswick had also claimed tries with the outstanding Martyn Ridyard’s kicking three goals.

Tom Spencer surges away to open the Centurions account in the second half, and although Batley claimed a try of their own from Jake Connor, with Leatherbarrow adding his second goal, it all became one way traffic.

First Gregg McNally and Brierley combined over 60 metres for Adam Higson to run the remaining 40. Ridyard added his fifth goal before Ryan Duffy laid on Brierley’s hat-trick before Sarsfield crossed for a deserved score.

Leigh completed the rout eight minutes from the end when Spencer galloped clear in the middle after McNally had initially sliced through, giving Brierley the chance to kick his third goal and confirm the big win.

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