Leigh Centurions 58 Halifax 18: Fax punished for mistakes as leaders march on

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Halifax’s top-four destiny remains in their hands, despite this horrendous loss to Championship leaders Leigh.

Richard Marshall’s side, unbeaten in seven matches, were their own worst enemies as they made nine errors – including five in their own half – during a terrible opening half.

Defeat means Halifax need to win both their final home games, against Featherstone and London, to be sure of clinching a place in the Super 8s Qualifiers.

The visitors started badly, Gareth Moore’s third-minute kick being charged down by the outstanding Cory Paterson and the Australian back rower scored from close range in the next set.

Martyn Ridyard converted and while Leigh continued to threaten, the next score came from the visitors, full-back Ben Johnston turning Leigh inside out on his way to the line and Steve Tyrer kicking the conversion to level at 6-6.

That was as good as it got though for Halifax..

Centre Leigh Smith and winger Adam Higson scored the next two, Paterson again instrumental, before Greg Worthington crashed over on the opposite side of the field, Ridyard’s conversions opening up a 22-6 lead that already looked more than decisive.

The leaders continued to prosper, Smith and Andrew Dixon both touching down before the break and Ridyard converting for a 34-6 half-time scoreline.

A largely academic second half began as the first finished, Paterson ploughing over near the flag with Ridyard’s conversion.

Halifax salvaged some pride with tries from Johnston and Will Sharp, both converted by Tyrer, to cut the deficit to 40-18.

Normal service was resumed when Dixon scored his second, Ridyard goaling from touch, before Fuifui Moimoi and Kay touched down late in the day, Ridyard converting both.

Leigh: Reynolds; Higson, Worthington, Smith, Kay; Ridyard, Drinkwater; Hopkins, Hood, Spencer, Dixon, Paterson, Hansen. Substitutes: Higham, Hock, Moimoi, Weston

Halifax: Johnston; Saltonstall, Heaton, Tyrer, Sharp; G. Moore, Murrell; Cahalane, Robinson, Tangata, Grix, Sarsfield, Fairbank. Substitutes: Ambler, Bennion, Barber, B. Moore.

Referee: R Hicks (RFL).