Championship round-up: Toronto extend lead at the top, Barrow shock Halifax, bleak reading for Rochdale

There were plenty of high-scoring encounters in the latest round of Betfred Championship action. 

Toronto extended their advantage at the top of the table to eight points after a 12-try demolition of Dewsbury at Lamport Stadium.

The Wolfpack conceded just once in either half and ran up a sizeable points tally, with Matty Russell and Anthony Mullally both crossing twice. Gareth O’Brien also troubled the whitewash and added 22 points from the boot on what proved to be an enjoyable afternoon for the Canadian side.

Brian McDermott’s side are now developing into runaway leaders after Toulouse fell to a shock 20-18 defeat at home to Swinton.

Despite fighting to stay in the division, the Lions toppled Olympique in their own back yard as Liam Paisley scoring the game-winning try five minutes from time. His hat-trick, plus a score from Rhodri Lloyd, earned the two points for Stuart Littler’s outfit as the French side struggled to cope with the absence of Johnathon Ford.

Swinton are now three points clear of the drop after Rochdale fell to another heavy defeat, this time away at York.

The Knights scored 11 tries as they recorded a 60-0 win, with Perry Whitley crossing for a treble and Matty Marsh adding a brace. There were six further try scorers for James Ford’s side, with the Hornets failing to muster anything in reply.

An unfancied 21-8 victory for Barrow at home to play-off chasing Halifax means that Rochdale are now five point adrift at the bottom of the Betfred Championship.

Jarrad Stack and Daniel Morrow scored either side of a Deon Cross brace as the Raiders picked up just their third win of the season. Shaun Robinson and Scott Grix crossed for Fax, but it wasn’t enough to stop them falling to a third consecutive league defeat.

Further up the table, Featherstone closed to within two points of Toulouse after battling to a 22-4 victory against Widnes at the LD Nutrition Stadium.

Alex Sutcliffe (2), Connor Carey and Tom Holmes all scored for Rovers, with Widnes only troubling the scoreboard in the second half courtesy of the returning Ryan Ince.

Leigh remain one of three teams locked on 22 points after a commanding 52-20 win over Bradford in front of the Our League cameras.

An Iain Thornley hat-trick, doubles for Liam Forsyth and Gregg McNally – against his former club – plus a Matty Costello try and 20 points from the boot of Martyn Ridyard meant that Leigh picked up a big win against one of their promotion-seeking rivals. The Bulls did muster a response through Matty Wildie, George Flanagan and Matthew Storton, but it wasn’t enough.

In the final game of the round, Sheffield stormed to a 54-24 victory away at Batley.

Despite holding a slender advantage at the break, Mark Aston’s Eagles ran in six second-half tries to ensure they picked up the two points. Pat Walker also added nine from nine with the boot as mid-table Batley were condemned to a second straight loss.

Championship Round 17 results:

Toulouse Olympique 18-20 Swinton Lions

Toronto Wolfpack 70-8 Dewsbury Rams

Barrow Raiders 21-8 Halifax

Batley Bulldogs 24-54 Sheffield Eagles

Featherstone Rovers 22-4 Widnes Vikings

Leigh Centurions 52-20 Bradford Bulls

York City Knights 60-0 Rochdale Hornets

About James Messenger 306 Articles
21-year-old Sports Journalism Graduate from the University of Chester. Digital Content Producer for Love Rugby League, Live Text Commentator for Tribe Sports and Marketing & Communications Assistant at Cheshire FA.Twitter: @J_M_Messenger