Leigh Centurions 20 Leigh ridiculed in record defeat by bottom club LEIGH Centurions are today a team in disgrace.

Thrashed out of sight by bottom club Rochdale, they should hang their heads in shame.

In a season of regular floggings, this was the toughest to take as Hornets swept to only their third win of the season.

And if they manage to collect at least one point at Whitehaven on Wednesday, Hornets will move above the Centurions in the table.

And who's to say Leigh don't deserve to be bottom of the pile.

Their day of shame at Spotland brought a catalogue of unwanted records.

A record defeat by Rochdale.

The eighth time this season they have conceded 40 points or more in a game.

The third time this season they've leaked 60 points.

754 points against in 20 games - just 158 short of the club record 912 conceded in 1993-94 with 10 games still to play.

The horrendous statistics make Leigh the softest touch in the division and leaves them open to ridicule.

The Centurions appear to be in free-fall; seven defeats in a row and no sign of anyone being able to stop the rot. Answers have to be found somewhere.

Ashen-faced coach Norman Turley had a behind-closed-doors meeting with his players immediately after the Spotland debacle while Hornets player/coach Deryck Fox shook his head in disbelief.

"I couldn't believe just how easy Leigh made it for us. I expected a tough and close game," he said.

Easy? It was embarrassingly easy as the Hornets rattled up 11 tries, four of them to one-time Leigh target Willie Swann.

They scored at a point a minute in the first half to lead 40-4, thankfully easing off in the second period and even allowing Leigh in for two late tries.

Fox had a field day directing operations in the middle of the park almost unchallenged. Former Leeds hooker Mick Shaw, on his Hornets debut, ripped up what passed for a defence with his sharp running from dummy half and Swann glided in for four tries simply by backing up. Leigh didn't have a clue on how to defend and once Tim Street had gone off with a badly cut eye midway through the first half, what little fire was left was quickly extinguished.

Shaw, Ken Kerr (2), Swann (2), Steve Cameron and Andy Eyres all crossed in the first half with Paul Wingfield replying with a couple of penalties.

The second half was little better. Swann added tries three and four and there were others from Adam Maher and Shaw as Fox took his goals tally to 10.

David Hill pulled one try back and in the final 10 minutes Leigh collected others from Mark Sarsfield and Andy Grundy with Wingfield adding two more goals.

Leigh: Bowker; Hill, Donlan, Kendrick, Wingfield; Arkwright, Purtill; Street, Murray, Pucill, Norman, Grundy, Costello. Subs (all used): Jenkins, Liku, Sarsfield, Gunning.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.