Three tries in six minutes helped Widnes win the battle of the Super League's basement clubs and end a run of seven consecutive league defeats.
Tries: Ballard 2, Connolly, J O'Neill, Watts, Finnigan
Goals: Myler 6
Tries: Owen, J Duffy, Jackson, Forber
Goals: Owen 2
Nick Owen put Leigh ahead, but Paul Ballard pounced on Kieran Kerr's neat chip through and Gary Connolly powered over following Stephen Myler's break.
John Duffy squeezed over to give Leigh hope but Jules O'Neil cancelled it out.
Ballard added his second from Myler's high kick and Brad Watts strolled over before Simon Finnigan secured the win.
Widnes coach Frank Endacott:
"We could have won by a lot more but to get the win was the most important thing.
"We had to get by a Leigh side who showed fight and commitment and I am pleased we have done it and given the fans something to cheer about.
"It was also good that some of the players who won't be here next year gave the fans a performance.
Leigh assistant coach Keith Cruckshank:
"We let them in three times in a 10-minute spell and we paid the price for that.
"You just cannot do that in Super League, or at any level.
"We competed well but Widnes made a fightback and got in front towards the end.
Widnes: Connolly, Hughes, Emelio, Myler, O'Connor, J. O'Neill, Finnigan, Whitaker, Frame, Mills, Smith, Ballard, Holmes, Nash, Viane, J. O'Neill, Watts, Kerr.
Leigh: Cooper, J. Duffy, Fleary, Jackson, Kent, Wilkes, Leafa, Maden, Marshall, Rowley, Stapleton, Sturm, Wilshere, Owen, J. Duffy, Maddocks, Stevens, Mears, Coleman, Forber.
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