BRADFORD BULLS are in serious danger of missing out on a top-four finish in the Kingstone Press Championship after going down to defeat at leaders Leigh.
A late try from former Featherstone and Salford loose forward Reni Maitua condemned the Bulls to a heartbreaking loss which leaves them three points adrift of the top four with just three games left of the regular season.
Failure to finish in the top four, who go into the Qualifiers as part of the Super 8s, would mean another season in the second flight for the former Super League champions.
Bradford led 20-16 after an hour thanks to tries from Omari Caro, Kieren Moss, James Clare and Alex Mellor, plus two goals by Danny Addy.
Leigh scored tries through Gareth Hock, Greg Worthington and Lee Smith before Maitua’s match-winner, with Smith kicking three goals as they completed a third win of the season over the Yorkshiremen.
Leigh Centurions: Smith, Higson, Worthington, Armstrong, Kay, Drinkwater, Burns, Moimoi, Higham, Weston, Maitua, Paterson, Hock. Substitutes: Ridyard, Fash, Hansen, Hopkins.
Bradford: Moss, Clare, Blythe, Welham, Caro, Addy, Thomas, Kavanagh, Howarth, Sidlow, Philbin, Haggerty, Olbison. Substitutes: O’Brien, Pitts, Lauaki, Mellor.
Referee: C Campbell (RFL).
Batley Bulldogs boosted their own Championship top-four hopes with a 16-8 victory at Whitehaven.
James Brown, Wayne Reittie and Adam Gledhill scored Batley’s tries while Dominic Brambani added two goals as the Bulldogs moved three points clear of fifth-placed Bradford Bulls in the race for the Super 8s Qualifiers.
Grant Gore and Craig Calvert crossed for unconverted tries in a 14th defeat of the season for Whitehaven.