LEIGH Centurions remain top of the Kingstone Press Championship despite a below-par second half in Cumbria today in their 28-16 triumph.
Having lost at Derwent Park last season, the Centurions prepared by stopping in Workington overnight and emerged with their 16th successive win in all competitions, scoring five tries in the process.
Described as an “ugly win” by coach Paul Rowley, Centurions had to be at their defensive best to hold Town in the second half and also saw three tries disallowed.
Workington opened the scoring after four minutes when former Centurion Carl Forber dummied his way through following sprightly work from Graeme Mattinson.
Leigh replied four minutes later when Gregg McNally wrapped around on the left and Liam Kay grounded at the corner. Martyn Ridyard converted superbly from the touchline and Centurions extended their advantage on 15 minutes when Sean Penkywicz cleverly worked his way over.
A third try wasn’t long in coming when Ridyard switched play left and Matt Sarsfield strode through for the first of two tries.
The Centurions’ first-half dominance was confirmed before the half hour when a set-move between Bob Beswick, Ridyard and McNally saw the full-back break and Ryan Brierley supported for his 27th try of the season.
Leigh led 22-4 at half-time and there was an air of expectancy amongst visiting supporters, however it was the hosts who came out with renewed impetus to deservedly win the second half.
Brett Phillips led their impressive charge and opened the scoring after three minutes before Forber kicked the conversion.
It was a defence-orientated second half with Leigh unable to create as much play, but they did grab the clincher after 62 minutes when Sarsfield eventually touched down Ridyard’s cross-kick following an almighty scramble.
Ridyard added his fourth goal to complete the visitors’ scoring but there was still time for Workington to win a bonus point thanks to a third try from Jarrad Stack, with Forber nudging over his second goal.