Championship round-up: Bradford say goodbye to Odsal, Barrow relegated, Chris Dean scores on home farewell

James Messenger

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

There were high scores and dramatic finales in the latest round of Championship action.

Table-topping Toronto ended Barrow’s stay in the second tier with a comprehensive 62-8 win at Lamport Stadium.

The Wolfpack ran in 11 tries altogether, with Liam Kay grabbing a hat-trick, and Andrew Dixon and Matty Russell scoring two each. Jamie Dallimore scored a try and two goals on his 100th appearance for the Raiders, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them dropping to the third tier for the first time since 2017.

Second-placed Toulouse also maintained their impressive recent form as they toppled Dewsbury 42-14.

The free-scoring French side produced a seven-try display, with Stan Robin’s double adding to further scores from Junior Vaivai, James Bell, Con Mika, Anthony Marion and Paterika Vaivai.

Already-relegated Rochdale suffered another heavy defeat in their penultimate game of the season, this time against Halifax. 

Simon Grix’s side ran out 58-0 winners as Will Sharp grabbed a treble and Steve Tyrer, James Woodburn-Hall and Conor McGrath all crossed twice. Jacob Fairbank, Liam Cooper and Dan Fleming also scored to round off a commanding display for Fax.

In the most intriguing game of the round, York leapfrogged Leigh with a tense 24-23 victory over the Centurions at Leigh Sports Village.

Despite Kevin Brown crossing on his debut and the hosts leading early in the second half, James Ford’s side struck back to draw level at 18-18 thanks to tries from Will Oakes (2) and Matty Marsh. Josh Woods’ edged Leigh ahead with a drop-goal, but Liam Harris’ try made it 24-19 to the visitors. Liam Forysth scored six minutes from the end of the reduce the lead to a solitary point, but Ryan Brierley’s unsuccessful conversion meant the Knights held on.

Chris Dean scored on his final home appearance as Widnes beat Swinton 36-28 in a hugely eventful game.

Despite trailing at the break, the Vikings crossed five times in the second half through Patrick Ah Van’s second of the game, Lloyd Roby, Jack Owens, Dean and Josh Ganson. They looked to be on their way to a relatively comfortable win, but Nick Gregson and Warrington-bound Matty Ashton’s tries in the final seven minutes made the scoreline slightly more respectable for the Lions, who remain ninth in the league.

Bradford jumped above Sheffield in the table with a 30-10 victory as they said goodbye to Odsal, their home ground for the last 85 years.

Joe Keyes, Jake Webster, Ross Peltier, Ethan Ryan, Brandon Pickersgill, Rhys Evans all scored for the hosts, with only Joel Farrell and James Meadows able to cross for the Eagles, fresh off the back of their 1895 Cup triumph.

In the final game of the round, Featherstone secured the final play-off spot with a 64-0 win away at Batley.

Dane Chisholm crossed for a hat-trick and added 10 goals for a 32-point haul, while Connor Jones and Josh Hardcastle also grabbed two tries-apiece. The scoring was rounded off by Cameron King, Brad Day, James Harrison and James Lockwood.

Championship Round 26 results:

Toulouse Olympique 42-14 Dewsbury Rams

Toronto Wolfpack 62-8 Barrow Raiders

Halifax 58-0 Rochdale Hornets

Leigh Centurions 23-24 York City Knights

Widnes Vikings 36-28 Swinton Lions

Bradford Bulls 30-10 Sheffield Eagles

Batley Bulldogs 0-64 Featherstone Rovers

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