Leigh Centurions 30 Featherstone Rovers 38: Ridyard steers Rovers to win over former club
Ridyard’s 16-point haul against his hometown team saw Rovers move level on points with London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique at the top of the table. A hat-trick of tries by centre Ben Crooks was in vain for relegated Leigh whose slump continued with their fourth defeat in five games.
Trailing 28-20 with 15 minutes left, Rovers staged a storming finish to win a pulsating clash and end their Leigh hoodoo after losing their last nine matches against the Centurions. Leigh bounced back from 14-8 behind to lead 20-14 at the break. Rovers made a cracking start when winger Luke Briscoe went over at the corner after just two minutes to stretch his tryscoring run to six consecutive matches.
Centurions levelled three minutes later when Rhys Evans scooped up a loose ball to race 65 yards to score. Featherstone fell behind when Crooks in the 17th minute. They quickly squared matters through Shaun Robinson. Ian Hardman landed a 40-yard penalty in the 23rd minute to put them back ahead.
Ridyard kicked a superb 40-20 to set up the attacking position from which he sent Connor Farrell crashing over but the game then swung Leigh’s way when they scored two tries in three minutes, both converted by Craig Hall.
Rovers made it 20-20 when Ridyard converted his own try after intercepting a wild pass but Leigh regained the lead three minutes later then Crooks completed his hat-trick to put them eight points ahead.
Rovers cut the gap when Ridyard goaled his second try. Leigh’s Hall kicked a penalty goal but Rovers snatched the lead with seven minutes left when Mitch Clark plunged over. Ridyard converted.
Harrison Hansen had an effort disallowed for a forward pass before Rovers sealed victory when Briscoe stole the ball in a one-on-one tackle and raced 65 yards for his second score with Ridyard adding his fourth goal to make it a happy return to Leigh for Featherstone coach John Duffy who made nearly 200 appearances in three spells with the Centurions.
Leigh Centurions: Hall; Dawson-Jones, Crooks, Matautia, Evans; Reynolds, Hutchison; Richards, Hood, Hansen, Patrick, B Thompson, J Thompson. Subs: Higham, Vaivai, Acton, Larroyer.
Featherstone Rovers: Hardman; Briscoe, Hardcastle, Thackeray, Robinson; Ridyard, Holmes; Clark, Carlile, Oledszi, Farrell, Mariano, Knowles. Subs: Wildie, Hock, Ormondroyd, Brooks.
Referee: Chris Kendall (RFL).