Dewsbury Rams ended their season in defeat but with their heads held high at the Leigh Sports Village.
A win for the Rams would have made it an all Yorkshire affair in the Grand Final in Headingley, but they were overpowered by this seasons title favourites. Dewsbury struggled to deal with an early onslaught and were behind inside the first few minutes. Ryan Brierley fed winger Adam Higson, who crossed in the corner. Brierley then chipped into the corner for Higson to collect and touch down.
Anthony Thackeray scored a superb try, but after Michael Platt had made it three tries to one for the home side, Dewsbury conceded three avoidable points on half-time. First, Karl Pryce gave away a needless penalty, blocking the path of Tom Armstrong, which Ridyard converted. The Leigh stand-off then knocked over a drop goal just after the hooter had sounded.
Dewsbury put the game right back in the balance with two quick-fire scores. Ben Hellewell’s made the most of a huge overlap to get the Rams’ second half up and running. Then, Joel Farrell smashed his way over the line. That try made it a five-point game. Greg McNally and Higson added two in quick succession, and though Dale Morton’s chase and try put the Rams back in contention, a late Ridyard penalty put the game beyond the reach of Dewsbury, who now have plenty of time to prepare for a top-four challenge next year.
Leigh: Greg McNally, Adam Higson, Michael Platt, Tom Armstrong, Liam Ka, Martyn Ridyard, Ryan Brierley; Jake Emmitt, Bob Beswick, Oliver Wilkes, Matthew Sarsfield, Kurt Haggerty, Sam Barlow. Subs: Sean Penkywicz, Johnny Walker, Anthony Bate, Jamie Acton.
Dewsbury: Karl Pryce, Dale Morton, Ben Hellewell, Shane Grady, Sam Wood, Kieran Hyde, Anthony Thackeray; Matthew Haggerty, Tom Hemingway, Ryan Hepworth, Rob Spicer, Scott Hale, Jobe Murphy. Subs: Ryan Wright, Makali Aizue, Joel Farrell, Tommy Gallagher.
Referee: Matt Thomason.