Widnes Vikings got the brand new Co-Operative National League 1 campaign underway with a magnificent victory over Leigh, whilst fellow NL1 big boys Castleford also racked up the points at The Jungle. In National League 2, it was Barrow Raiders who recorded the biggest victory, defeating Workington.
The National Leagues season was kick started on Wednesday night at Boundary Park, as Oldham fell to an encouraging 23-12 loss to Featherstone Rovers. The home side led at the break thanks to tries from Gareth Langley and Said Tamghart, but two quick scores from Chris Ross and Tommy Haughey edged Featherstone ahead after the hour mark. A last minute score by Haughey added gloss to the scoreline in a tight encounter.
On Thursday, Widnes hosted the first ever live televised regular season National League game and sent out a message to their rivals with a crushing defeat of Leigh, 46-12. The Vikings held a 24-0 lead at the interval, before allowing Leigh to cross for two consolations in the last 7 minutes. Vikings' tries came from Dennis Moran (3), Scott Grix (2), Damien Blanch, Toa Kohe-Love and Gavin Dodd, with Mick Nanyn landing 7 conversions. Aaron Heremaia replied with a brace for the visitors, Adam Hughes goaling both.
On to Good Friday, and Whitehaven's 42-4 win over Rochdale saw them top the table after Round 1, Carl Sice and Gary Broadbent grabbing two tries apiece. Castleford led 46-6 after 58 minutes at The Jungle, but allowed Halifax in for 3 late tries which reduced the final winning martin to 24, the game finishing 46-22 in the Tigers' favour.
Doncaster put their off the field problems behind them with a determined 24-20 win at the Don Valley Stadium against Sheffield,Dean Andrews scoring two tries. And promoted Dewsbury were defeated at home by Batley Bulldogs, 24-16.
Barrow Raiders and Celtic Crusaders set out their stalls for the new season with convincing wins against Workington and London Skolars respectively. Hunslet also picked up an encouraging win, 38-26 at Keighley Cougars.
The sides are back in action on Bank Holiday Monday, with a full round up to appear on Last Tackle on Tuesday.
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