Championship round-up: Toulouse narrowly beat York, Gelling makes Widnes return, Leigh beat 12-man Halifax

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

It was a good week of results for the top four in the Betfred Championship.

The gap at the top of the Betfred Championship stays at six after Toronto picked up a comfortable 34-14 win over Swinton at Heywood road.

Swinton – who gave debuts to Richard Lepori and Samy Kibula – were kept scoreless in the first half, but managed to cross three times in the second half against the table-toppers, with Mike Butt scoring twice. Nevertheless, in the first game since David Argyle fired himself as Chairman and CEO, the Wolfpack ran in six tries as they picked up their 15th win of the season.

Toulouse remain within touching distance of the leaders after a narrow 25-18 victory over York at Bootham Crescent.

James Ford – who had been linked with the Hull KR vacancy prior to Tony Smith’s appointment – saw his side lead 18-12 with 25 minutes remaining after tries from Jack Teanby, Brad Hey and Liam Harris. However, scores from Paul Marcon and Mathieu Jussuame, plus two goals and a one-pointer from William Barthau, ensured the French side prevailed.

Sunday’s encounter with Sheffield could’ve been problematic for third-placed Featherstone, but they made light work of the Eagles with a ruthless 38-18 win at the Olympic Legacy Park.

Rovers led 30-6 midway through the second half, but were pegged back after two tries in 10 minutes from Ben Hellewell and Nathan Mason. Dane Chisholm extended Featherstone’s lead beyond two converted tries, before James Harrison ensured victory for the visitors with nine minutes remaining.

Leigh climbed above York into fourth after a 31-8 victory over 12-man Halifax at Leigh Sports Village.

The Centurions ran in five tries, with Mitch Cox bagging a double to help record a sixth win in seven games. Chester Butler and James Woodburn-Hall got consolations for Fax, who had Dan Fleming sent off in the latter stages after a fracas involving both sets of players.

Bradford kept to within two points of the play-off places after grinding out a 16-0 victory over Batley in the West Yorkshire derby.

David Foggin-Johnston scored the only try of a tense first half, before his second score and Elliot Minchella’s fifth try of 2019 ensured John Kear’s side bounced back from their Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat to Halifax in the right manner.

Elsewhere, Widnes climbed above Swinton on the league ladder after a 38-14 victory over Barrow.

Anthony Gelling made his return to the side but did not manage to score any of their seven tries. Jay Chapelhow and Jayden Hatton scored twice, added to by Danny Craven, Lloyd Roby and Joe Lyons as the Vikings made it three home wins in little over a week.

In the final game of the round, Dewsbury inflicted further pain on Rochdale with an 11-try, 66-10 rout against the league’s basement side.

Frazer Morris, Joe Martin and Sam Day all crossed twice, while there were further scores for Kyle Trout, Jack Garratt, Dale Morton, Lucas Walshaw and Chris Annakin as the Rams recorded their biggest league win of the season.

Championship Round 16 Results:

York City Knights 18-25 Toulouse Olympique

Bradford Bulls 16-0 Batley Bulldogs

Dewsbury Rams 66-10 Rochdale Hornets

Leigh Centurions 31-8 Halifax

Sheffield Eagles 18-38 Featherstone Rovers

Widnes Vikings 38-14 Barrow Raiders

Swinton Lions 14-34 Toronto Wolfpack

About James Messenger 272 Articles
20-year-old Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Chester. Freelance writer for Love Rugby League, Tribe Sports and others. Also part of the Marketing and Communications team at the Cheshire FA.Twitter: @J_M_Messenger