A HAT-trick from Drew Hutchinson helped deny Barrow Raiders as they went down 46-18 away to Leigh Centurions in spite of another hugely impressive display against one of the Betfred Championship’s full-time teams.

The visitors trailed 22-6 at the break and were down to just two interchange players due to injuries, but tries from Jarrad Stack and Brett Carter saw Barrow claw their way back into the contest.

But Leigh half-back Hutchinson ran in two more tries to add to his first-half score inside the final 10 minutes to take the contest beyond the Raiders and deny them a repeat of their shock victory at Craven Park earlier in the season.

Andy Litherland and Brett Carter were both recalled to the Raiders side for this match, and Ryan Fieldhouse was included after passing a second concussion test. Meanwhile, familiar faces on the Centurions team included Urswick’s Greg Richard.

The hosts showed exactly why they had been racking up so many eye-catching results in recent weeks on the first set with an attack which went almost the length of the field, only for a try from Craig Hall to be ruled out for a forward pass from Peter Mata’utia.

It was not long before Leigh were in for the opening try – although it came via a piece of good fortune when Hutchinson threw a pass which Carter attempted to intercept, only for the ball to bounce back into the hands of the home scrum-half and him to sprint for the score.

Ben Reynolds was unable to add the conversion, but he was in for the Centurions second try in the 10th minute, selling the Raiders defence a dummy and weaving through the resulting gap to score under the posts and kick the conversion.

Barrow were not helped by losing skipper Martin Aspinwall and then his replacement Dan Toal to injury in quick succession. Despite this, they were able to put together some promising moves of their own, only for execution to let them down at the key moment.

Joe Bullock also had a try on 15 minutes ruled out for a double movement, but did manage to get over against his former club four minutes later.

With Jamie Dallimore pulling the strings in the halves, the Raiders pushed forward and a cut-out pass from the stand-off to the prop led to Bullock going over for a converted try.

It was then Barrow’s defence which came to the fore as they kept Leigh at bay time and time again, including stopping them twice close to the line.

However, the hosts’ patience paid off when Ryan Bailey, recently signed from Workington Town, forced his way over from close range with eight minutes to go in the half, followed by Reynolds converting.

And the Centurions pushed even further ahead on 35 minutes when a move from a scrum saw Mata’utia send Matty Dawson-Jones racing away down the wing for a try which was converted by Reynolds too.

Barrow rallied after the break though and it was their Australian triumvirate who played a huge part in their second try in the 47th minute.

Alec Susino took the ball up and offloaded to Dean Parata, only for him to be stopped just short. But the ball was then worked back for Stack to force his way over, with Dallimore converting.

Then eight minutes later, the deficit was reduced to just four points when a cut-out pass from Ryan Fieldhouse sent Carter streaking away down the right wing for a try which again saw Dallimore add the extras.

Had a pass from Gene Ormsby to Jono Smith not been ruled forward, then the Raiders would have been ahead on 65 minutes.

As it was though, Leigh regained their composure and two more tries from Hutchinson inside the final 10 minutes – the first seeing him jinking through the defence and the second seeing him take an inside pass from Craig Hall – put the result beyond doubt, with converted tries from Liam Hood and Hall adding some gloss to the final score late on.

Leigh Centurions: Peter Mata’utia; Matty Dawson-Jones, Rhys Evans, Craig Hall, Jack Owens; Ben Reynolds, Drew Hutchinson; Nathan Mason, Liam Hood, Jamie Acton, Harrison Hansen, Bodene Thompson. Interchange: Mickey Higham, Ryan Bailey, Greg Richards, Kevin Larroyer.

Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse; Brett Carter, Declan Hulme, Andy Litherland, Gene Ormsby; Jamie Dallimore, Ryan Johnston; Joe Bullock, Nathan Mossop, Alec Susino, Jono Smith, Jarrad Stack, Martin Aspinwall. Interchange: Dean Parata, Bradd Crellin, Dan Toal, Ryan Duffy.

Referee: Marcus Griffiths.