Rams battle back to stun title-chasing Centurions

Rams battle back to stun title-chasing Centurions

IF THIS is a sign of things to come then Dewsbury Rams could be on the verge of unlikely success following a history-making regular season.

Few get to visit a club of Leigh’s stature, trail by three scores with less than 20 minutes remaining and then battle back to sink title-chasing opposition 24-22.

And what better time and place to produce such heroics on the verge of a play-off series, having secured second-tier end-of-season knockout action for the first time in 13 years.

As seventh-placed finishers, you would be forgiven for ruling the Rams out of grand final contention in 2013.

But in the kind of form displayed late on in Lancashire last weekend, only a fool would bet against them causing a stir from here.

Doncaster await on Sunday, a side who too enjoyed a shock victory last time out, over South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield.

But, since the start of July, only Glenn Morrison’s side have overcome sixth-placed Doncaster.

Despite an impressive start last Sunday, Dewsbury looked likely to settle for at the very best a bonus point as they trailed 16-6 at the break.

The Centurions were comfortably ahead and increased their advantage early in the second half and were in cruise control. That was until a double sin-binning appeared to inspire the visitors.

With both teams down to 12 men, the Rams upped the ante and what followed left the vast majority of the 1,556 crowd  stunned, much thanks to the irrepressible finishing of Karl Pryce.

Leigh opened in a confident style with their right-side edge of Steve Maden, Stuart Littler and Tommy Goulden in outstanding form.

And it was Littler who scored the first try of the game when Leigh kept the ball alive on the last play.

Martyn Ridyard couldn’t convert, however, and the Centurions butchered further opportunities before Ryan Brierley threw an intercept and Kieran Hyde ran clear from half-way to add the first of four goals and edge the Rams in front.

Leigh defended well after that slip as more magnificent handling was eventually converted by Goulden, ducking the tackles to cross for his ninth of the season.

Five minutes from the break, Leigh swept downfield again and a delicate kick forward from Maden was pounced on superbly by Ryan Brierley for Ridyard to ensure a 16-6 half-time advantage.

Early in the second half swift hands left on the back of Ridyard’s direction saw Johnny Pownall sweep in at the corner for the Leigh stand-off to goal but just as the Centurions have previously grabbed games by the scruff of the neck, this one turned in favour of the visitors.

The Rams showed their character and following an ugly brawl that brought yellow cards for Leigh’s Adam Higson and the Rams Tom Lillycrop and an

incident involving Higson and Pryce placed on report, Dewsbury took charge.

Hyde recovered his kicking game and gradually the Rams were winning the territorial battle before a penalty gave them the opportunity to set up camp in good field position.

It was former France international hooker Kane Bentley that broke the deadlock as he snaked an arm over the line for a try beneath the posts with Hyde goaling to make it 22-12.

Leigh were teetering and Dewsbury sensed it.

Pryce ran through a gaping hole in the defence ten minutes from time with Hyde goaling to close the hosts’ advantage to just four points.

Leigh full-back Gregg McNally then spilled a kick return and the onrushing Rams converted the chance when Scott Hale got the ball out and Pryce went in at the corner with Hyde keeping up his 100 per cent conversion rate from the touchline to nudge the Rams into ascendancy and they held out comortably in the last five minutes to claim the win.

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