Championship round-up: 12-man Toulouse beat York, Halifax win with last-minute score, London battle past Bradford

James Messenger

There were plenty of close match-ups in the opening round of the Betfred Championship season. 

Leigh kicked off 2020 Betfred Championship season with a 36-10 victory away at Dewsbury.

Cameron Scott crossed for a debut try against the team he played twice on-loan in 2018, while there were further scores for Ben Reynolds, Josh Woods, Ben Hellewell, Iain Thornley and Adam Higson. Adam Ryder scored the Rams’ only try.

Toulouse opened up their campaign with a hard-fought 22-10 victory over York, despite having Lloyd White shown a red card on debut midway through the second half.

The Welshman was giving his marching orders on the hour mark after kicking out at Liam Salter. His side still wrapped up victory though as late tries from Paul Marcon, Paterika Vaivai and Junior Vaivai added to Joe Bretherton’s first half score.

On their first game back in the second tier, London battled to a narrow 18-14 victory away at Bradford.

Guy Armitage, Rob Butler and Josh Walters all scored for the visitors, and although Matty Dawson-Jones (2) and Tommy Doyle replied for the hosts, Keiran Dixon’s perfect kicking accuracy proved to be the difference.

Oliver Roberts scored a last-minute try as Halifax secured a dramatic 18-17 win at home to Sheffield.

The hosts should’ve won by more, having outscored the Eagles by four tries to three; however, Steve Tyrer only managed to convert one of the four tries. Izaac Farrell’s drop-goal nine minutes from time looked to have won it, but Fax struck at the death to secure the competition points.

Featherstone bounced back from last year’s Million Pound Game defeat as they ran out victorious 38-18 away at Batley. 

Dane Chisholm crossed twice and added seven goals as he amassed a personal 22-point haul. Greg Worthington, Luke Briscoe, Josh Hardcastle and James Harrison also crossed for Rovers in James Webster’s first competitive game in charge.

Widnes spoiled Oldham’s return to the Betfred Championship with a commanding 36-6 victory at the Vestacare Stadium.

Deon Cross and Jake Spedding scored on debut, while Sam Wilde, Jack Owens and the returning duo of Jack Johnson (2) and Shane Grady wrapped up victory. James Beckett scored the Roughyeds’ only try in the second half.

In the final game of the round, Swinton claimed a hard-fought 14-0 away at Whitehaven in tough conditions.

Lewis Hatton and Mike Butt both crossed for the visitors, with Jack Hansen adding six points from the boot.

Championship Round 1 results:

Batley Bulldogs 18-38 Featherstone Rovers

Bradford Bulls 14-18 London Broncos

Dewsbury Rams 10-36 Leigh Centurions

Halifax 18-17 Sheffield Eagles

Oldham 6-36 Widnes Vikings

Toulouse Olympique 22-10 York City Knights

Whitehaven 0-14 Swinton Lions

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