THREE tries in six second-half minutes saw Leigh survive a major scare from a spirited Batley side, as the Centurions edged out a 26-12 victory
As the clock ticked past the hour mark, the Bulldogs held a 12-10 advantage but two tries from Adam Higson, either side of a Jake Emmitt score, ensured Leigh got back to winning ways after their first defeat of the season last week.
Batley coach John Kear said: “I think we started off a bit nervy and you need to remember when we played at Leigh they had scored 18 points after eight minutes.
“I think one or two thoughts went back to that game but we addressed that and I’m happy with the Bulldog spirit that’s developing here.
“I’m happy with the performance but we need to start getting some points in the league table.”
Leigh scored the first points as Ben Reynolds put Gregg McNally through a hole in the Batley defence. He offloaded to Higson, who did well to hold off Alex Brown and score in the corner. Martyn Ridyard converted.
Leigh extended their advantage in the 10th minute when an outstanding long pass from Bob Beswick allowed Liam Kay to cross unopposed. Ridyard missed the conversion.
Batley fans may have been fearing the worst but for the rest of the first period their side hammered away at the Centurions’ line only to be repelled by some brilliant defence.
They finally got the try their performance deserved in the 35th minute as Wayne Reittie intercepted a Ridyard pass and raced 60 metres to score. The excellent Scott Leatherbarrow converted to cut the deficit to 6-10.
Batley went ahead in the 49th minute as substitute hooker Alistair Leak squeezed over from acting half. Leatherbarrow made the score 12-10.
In the 60th minute, Gareth Hock was penalised for holding down. The prop said something to the official and was sent to the sin-bin.
But it was Leigh who dominated the next 10 minutes as they ran in three tries to take the game away from Batley.
A great pass from Ridyard in the 64th minute found Higson in space. The wingman still had a lot to do but finished expertly in the corner to give his side a 12-14 lead.
Four minutes later Leigh scored again when Emmitt proved too strong from close range. Ridyard converted.
In the 70th minute Higson put the result beyond doubt when he completed his hat-trick, collecting a grubber and touching down under the posts. Ridyard made it 12-26.
The game ended on a sour note as a brawl broke out involving just about every player. The result was a red card for Jamie Acton of Leigh and Tom Lillycrop of Batley, while Hock visited the sin bin for the second time.