Batley Bulldogs 24 Leigh Centurions 18: Hooker Mennell denies Centurions with late try

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Batley Bulldogs snatched a well-merited victory with a last-gasp try from hooker Paul Mennell in this thrill-a-minute encounter.

The two teams, lying fourth and fifth in the League, had conducted a tense battle throughout with Batley opening the scoring with a superb try from full-back Miles Greenwood, who swept through the Leigh defence for the opening touchdown.

But the Centurions hit back in style with a stunning try from stand-off Ryan Brierley and edged themselves further ahead with another touchdown from centre Matt Gardner, with a goal from Martyn Ridyard also being added to see the visitors go in 12-6 ahead at the half-time break.

Batley came out full of intent for the second half and started in storming fashion with stand-off Ben Black racing away for a try.

Johnny Campbell quickly followed that up by bursting clear to collect another touchdown in the opening eight minutes.

Gareth Moore converted Campbell’s try and added a penalty to give the home side a deserved 18-12 lead.

But that counted for little when, five minutes from time, Centurions winger John Pownall created huge confusion to drive over for another converted try which levelled the scores.

But they and the crowd as a whole were stunned when Batley hooker Mennell danced his way through a posse of tacklers to score the winning try – mwhich Moore dutifully converted – just two minutes before the final hooter sounded.

Batley Bulldogs: Greenwood; Campbell, Walton, Faal, Johnson; Black, Moore; Rowe, Mennell, Mullally, Bretherton, Davies, Lindsay. Substitutes: Flanagan, Hirst, Johnson, Fairbank.

Leigh Centurions: McNally, Maden, Littler, Gardner, Pownall, Ridyard, Brierley, Ostick, Beswick, Spencer, Thornley, Goulden, Aspinwall. Substitutes: Penkywicz, Briscoe, Bate, Hopkins.

Referee: D Merrick (RFL).