Barrow 8

Leigh Centurions 24

IT may not have been as gripping as the previous meeting between the sides but two points was the only consideration for back-to-form Leigh.

The 1895 Cup quarter-final produced a minor classic last month with Martyn Ridyard’s late drop goal taking Centurions to within 80 minutes of a Wembley appearance.

This time victory was sealed with more time to spare though relegation threatened Raiders again made John Duffy’s side work hard for the win.

Early second half tries from Iain Thornley and Ridyard broke the contest open but the visitors still required Jordan Thompson’s late touchdown to finally breathe easily.

And after the disappointment of defeat at Featherstone seven days earlier, there were other good reasons to smile again.

Top five rivals, York and Bradford, both dropped a point as Centurions moved up to fourth ahead of next Sunday’s belated return to home action against Batley Bulldogs.

It’s now only two defeats in their last 13 games for Leigh and Duffy was relieved and delighted by the outcome.

“It was a massive result for us and I’m really proud of the players and the staff,” he said.

“Some good teams have come here and got turned over.

“Every game in the Championship now is massive and we can’t have a minute off.

“After the disappointing defeat at Featherstone we responded in the right way.

“It was a real tough first half and we were really clumsy in some of our sets.

“We had some harsh words at half-time and we stepped up to the plate and took the game by the scruff of its neck.”

Still without injured Ryan Brierley, Centurions went behind to Deon Cross’s ninth minute try.

And they had to wait until two minutes before half-time until Gregg McNally’s try and Ridyard’s first of three goals gave them a lead they weren’t to lose.

Fired-up after the break Iain Thornley celebrated his 150th career game with Leigh’s second try before Ridyard then crossed the Cumbrians line.

Duffy’s men weren’t quite out of the woods as Tee Ritson’s unconverted try after 53 minutes gave Paul Crary’s men a glimmer of hope.

Both sides finished with 12 men after a late flashpoint resulted in Jamie Dallimore and Josh Woods receiving yellow cards from referee Tom Grant.

Thompson scored Leigh’s fourth try to finally put the result beyond doubt while Cory Paterson added a penalty to complete the scoring.

Match stats:

Barrow: Cresswell; Ritson, Hulme, Amean, Cross; Dallimore, J Carter; Jordan Walne, Puara jnr, Susino, Parsley, Stack, Aspinwall.

Substitutes: Riley, Walker, White, B Carter.

Tries: Cross (9), Ritson (53)

Goals: Dallimore 0/ 2.

Sin bin: Dallimore (70)

Leigh: McNally; Forsyth, A. Thornley, I. Thornley, Marsh; Ridyard, Woods; Brooks, Higham, L. Adamson, T. Adamson, Batchelor, Cator.

Substitutes: Hood, Paterson, Emmitt, Thompson.

Tries: McNally (38), I Thornley (42), Ridyard (47), Thompson (71)

Goals: Ridyard 3/3, Paterson 1/ 2

Sin bin: Woods (70) retaliation

Referee: Tom Grant

Half-time: 4-6

Attendance: 1,637