Six cards as Fax and Leigh lock horns in the Championship

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Halifax slipped to a 22-14 Championship loss at Leigh in a tumultuous game that saw four reds cards and two yellow as the Centurions stretched their winning streak to 24 matches.

Richard Marshall’s visitors were trailing 18-14 - having led 14-6 just after half time - when Leigh centre Tom Armstrong was sent off for a needless head butt on Fax’s in-form wingman James Saltonstall.

A contest that had been tough but relatively fair then exploded within minutes as Leigh back rower Kurt Haggerty unleashed a flurry of punches on Fax prop Mitch Cahalane after being tackled by the Australian.

That incident sparked an all-in brawl, which took referee Matthew Thomason several minutes to finally quell as scuffles repeatedly broke out after players had been separated.

When the dust finally settled, Thomason sent off Fax pair Andy Bracek and Steve Tyrer along with Leigh’s Jamie Acton, while Haggerty - who had kicked the whole thing off - was sin binned along with Cahalane.

That left both sides with 10 men, with Fax going within a whisker of winning the game when captain Scott Murrell, whose combination with on-loan Widnes half back Danny Craven is starting to blossom, flicked out a pass that his half back partner just failed to reel in with the line open.

Leigh finally clinched the spoils on the final play of the game when the former Fax hooker Bob Beswick touched down on the left.

The visitors had been the better side before the break, scoring first through a scrappy try from Murrell, before Leigh went 6-4 up with a Jonathan Pownall try, converted by Martin Ridyard.

But a Ben Heaton try, after kicks from Murrell and Saltonstall, saw Tyrer kick the visitors into a 10-6 interval lead.

Heaton added a super touchdown five minutes into the second half, swatting off three defenders on a run to the corner, to leave Fax 14-6 up.

Leigh replied with a great score from Greg Worthington, before Tommy Goulden benefited from a freakish bounce of the ball after a Ryan Brierley kick.

Armstrong then saw red to leave the game poised at 18-14, before Haggerty sparked a chaotic finale that will surely have serious disciplinary repercussions for both clubs.