PRODIGAL son Ryan Brierley celebrated his 200th career appearance with a scoring return to Leigh as John Duffy’s side defeated their potential Wembley rivals to record a hard fought, third win in eight days.

Liam Forsyth (2) and Martyn Ridyard also touched down in Centurions’ 13th successive win-their third in 2019- over their Yorkshire rivals dating back to 2013.

But the home side made Duffy’s Betfred Championship high flyers battle to the final hooter coming from 22-10 down with late tries from Ryan Miller and Ben Blackmore.

Eagles, now sixth and four points adrift of Leigh, threatened again in the closing moments only for a knock-on to deny them at least a share of the spoils.

In the end Ridyard’s three goals against a solitary Pat Walker conversion made the difference. It was all too much for Eagles’ substitute James Meadows, sent-off after the final hooter.

Loan star Brierley, now just four points shy of 1,000 in his career, had touched down when the sides met at Leigh Sports Village on May 5.

In a nail-biting encounter Centurions came from 38-24 down to snatch a dramatic 42-38 success with three tries in the last nine minutes.

This latest encounter between two of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-finalists proved equally tight.

Eagles had a try disallowed for off side when Anthony Thackeray touched down before Leigh hit the front through Forsyth after 24 minutes. Ridyard kicked the first of his goals to make it 6-0.

Thackeray hit back for the hosts on the half hour and Walker levelled the scores with Eagles’ only successful kick of the game.

Brierley, who notched five tries in four appearances in his recent spell, showed his finishing skills once more before half-time to help Centurions into a 10-6 interval lead.

Centre Forsyth has proved a shrewd signing since his move from Wigan and he notched his latest try 10 minutes into the second period with a powerful finish. Ridyard added the extras and Leigh led 16-6.

Eagles though put the final result in doubt, shifting the ball in fine style before Ben Blackmore touched down for the first of his two tries.

Ridyard replied for Leigh while a fifth try went begging as Jordan Thompson’s wayward forward pass gave Eagles an escape.

And they almost took the lifeline crossing through Ryan Millar and Blackmore in the space of seven minutes. Fortunately for Leigh, Meadows missed both testing conversions attempts and Eagles pulled up just short.

Match stats:


Gudzek; Millar, Ogden, Crookes, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Moran, Davey, Knowles, Farrell, Davies, Brown. Substitutes: Meadows, P. Burns, Mason, Adebiyi.

Tries: Thackeray (30), Blackmore (56, 73), Miller (66)

Goals: Walker 1/2, Meadows 0/2

Leigh:vBrierley; Costello, I Thornley, Simms, Forsyth; Ridyard, Woods; Spencer, Higham, L Adamson, T Adamson, A Thornley, Cator; substitutes: Hood, Paterson, Thompson, Hock.

Tries: Forsyth (24, 50) Brierley (34), Tries: Forsyth (24, 50) Brierley (34), Ridyard (64)

Goals: Ridyard 3/4

Referee: Michael Mannifield

Half-time: 6-10

Attendance: 1,018