Championship round-up: Whitehaven take play-off race to the final day

Whitehaven’s remarkable run of form continued as they ensured the race to reach the Championship play-offs will go down to the final day.

Their 10th win in 12 matches came at home to Halifax, with Gregg McNally’s drop goal securing a 19-6 victory.

Super League bound winger Lachlan Walmsley had helped them in to a 12-6 half-time lead, with fellow Australian Ryan King scoring a try after the break as the Cumbrians kept third-placed Halifax scoreless in the second half.

It piles the pressure on London Broncos, who ended a disappointing week with a 48-28 home defeat to high-flying Featherstone.

Those two results mean that if Whitehaven win at Bradford next weekend, London have to get a result away at York to ensure a top six finish – otherwise Whitehaven will complete the most unlikely surge to the play-offs.

The defeat in Cumbria for Halifax went unpunished, as their two challengers for third place both fell to defeats.

Batley slipped up to a surprise 31-24 defeat in the Heavy Woollen derby.

Paul Sykes’ drop goal ended a thrilling first half with the Rams 19-18 in front, and tries from Tom Garratt and Jordan Schofield earned them local bragging rights and only their seventh win of the season.

Bradford also missed out on the chance to go third, as they lost 10-9 at Widnes in a thrilling finale.

The Bulls had come from 6-0 down at half time to lead 8-6 through a Jordan Lilley penalty, only for a Jack Owens penalty to square things up again.

After having two drop goal attempts charged down, Bradford went 9-8 in front through Danny Brough.

But in the final minute, Aaron Murphy conceded a penalty in possession for an elbow in the face of Adam Lawton, and upstepped Vikings captain Jack Owens with a fine 45 metre penalty to ensure a disappointing season for Widnes ended in a positive fashion in front of their home fans ahead of their trip to Swinton next week.

Swinton will go in to that match with the chance to get off the bottom of the table for the first time this season, after they won 34-28 away at Sheffield.

The Lions are now level on points with Oldham, who went down 38-24 at home to Newcastle to continue their losing run.

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