Leigh Centurions 68-10 Rochdale Hornets
Sunday 8th April 2018, 15:00pm
Championship - Round: 10
Craig Hall 2, Ben Reynolds 2, Jamie Acton 2, Rhys Evans, Harrison Hansen, Ricky Bailey 2, Liam Hood, Jack Owens,
Ben Reynolds 10,
Lewis Hatton, Declan Kay,
LEIGH PROVE TOO STRONG
Rochdale Hornets fell to their third straight defeat on Sunday, as they were well-beaten by full-time outfit Leigh Centurions at the Leigh Sports Village.
The loss wasn’t for lack of effort, as the visitors gave all they could against a quality side, however the effect of three game in nine days ultimately showed in the end.
It wasn’t until Hornets were down to 12-men that the score line blew out, as over a third of Leigh’s points were posted when the visitors had a man in the sin-bin.
Alan Kilshaw handed Alex Gaskell his debut on the wing, while Joe Taira returned to the forward pack to give the middles a welcome boost. Dec Kay was back at fullback, as Dec Patton came into the halves from Warrington Wolves.
The Centurions looked to have opened their account after just five minutes as Nathan Mason was held up over the line, before Ben Crooks broke down the left edge and had Craig Hall in support, only for his pass to be forward.
Soon after Hall made amends, as he raced over straight from a scrum to post the first points of the afternoon.
Deon Cross brilliantly halted Ricky Bailey as he dragged the winger into touch by the scruff of his neck, although he only denied the inevitable as Ben Reynolds finished off some liquid football from the hosts on 14 minutes.
A Reynolds kick caused trouble for Kay, as the bounce beat the fullback before he recovered well to concede a goal-line drop-out, which then led to Leigh’s third try of the game as Jamie Acton barged his way over from close range.
Hornets then had their best spell of the first period, forcing a drop-out of their own, before Kay fired a pass to Rob Massam who had the try line beckoning, however the winger couldn’t take the ball at pace.
Another set on the Leigh line built pressure, before Kay’s pass was intercepted by Rhys Evans, with the Centurions wide man racing the length of the field.
On the half hour mark the home outfit hit the 30 point mark, as Harrison Hansen proved too strong from close range.
With five minutes of the half remaining Rochdale broke their deadlock, as Patton’ s grubber was chased down by Lewis Hatton under the sticks.
There was still time for another Leigh score though, as a delayed pass put Jack Owens through the line, before his kick to the corner sat up perfectly for Ricky Bailey to cross. A sixth goal from Reynolds meant that the hosts led 36-6 at the break.
Hornets scored the first points of the second period, as Massam broke down the left edge and offloaded to Ben Moores, with Kay racing over in support.
Head injuries to both Lewis Palfrey and Patton led to the visitors being disjointed in attack as they were without a halfback on the field. Leigh capitalised on 57 minutes as Bailey muscled over for his second off the back of two penalties.
Both sides were on a team warning, which led to Taira spending 10 minutes in the sin bin for holding down. In the time they had a man advantage Leigh posted 24 points, with their first try in that period coming from Acton, as he went over from close range again.
Hall had his double when he was too strong for Gaskell on the left edge, before Reynolds also picked up a brace nine minutes from time.
Liam Hood scored the penultimate try of the contest from dummy half, moments before Taira returned to the field of play, and the scoring was rounded off by Owens with the final play of the game.
It was a tough afternoon for Kilshaw’s men, but after a testing period they will be looking to bounce back when London Broncos visit on Friday night.
HORNETS: Dec Kay, Alex Gaskell, Earl Hurst, Deon Cross, Rob Massam, Lewis Palfrey, Dec Patton, Joe Taira, Ben Moores, Luke Adamson, Toby Adamson, Lee Mitchell, Gary Middlehurst. Subs: Dec Gregory, Lewis Hatton, Pat Moran, Billy Brickhill.
Tries: Hatton (35), Kay (46) Goals: Patton 1/1, Palfrey 0/1
CENTURIONS: Jack Owens, Ricky Bailey, Ben Crooks, Craig Hall, Rhys Evans, Ben Reynolds, Drew Hutchinson, Nathan Mason, Liam Hood, Jamie Acton, Harrison Hansen, Bodene Thompson, Jordan Thompson. Subs: Micky Higham, Greg Richards, Larne Patrick, Kyle Lovett.
Tries: Hall (8, 69), Reynolds (14, 71), Acton (18, 65), Evans (26), Hansen (30), Bailey (38, 57), Hood (73), Owens (79) Goals: Reynolds 10/12