The Championship Chat: Round 20

London seal Qualifiers place
London Broncos defeated Dewsbury Rams 34-6 at Tetley’s Stadium to book their spot in this season’s Middle Eights. The Broncos were only 12-0 up at the break after converted tries from Wes Naiqama and Israel Eliab before things started to pick up in the second half. Eliab completed his double prior to Mark Ioane going over the whitewash. London’s Rhys Williams and Dewsbury’s Josh Guzdek swapped scores before Matt Garside crossed for the visitors two minutes from time.

Featherstone keep up top four chase
Despite all of the teams – bar Bradford – winning around them, Featherstone Rovers beat Workington Town 44-22 to keep in contact with Halifax and Batley, who sit in the third and fourth spots. The hosts were 28-4 up at half-time despite going down to 12 men at one point after Colton Roche was sin-binned for a late shot. Ash Handley, Jamie Cording, Kyle Briggs, Anthony Thackeray and Michael Channing all made their way over the whitewash during the first period while Declan Hulme posted Town’s only try. Three tries in the space of seven minutes for Featherstone put the game beyond any reasonable doubt in the second half. Jamie Foster, Ian Hardman and Tim Spears were the try-scorers for the West Yorkshire club before Workington hit back with three tries of their own courtesy of Hulme, Brett Phillips and Marc Shackley.

Leigh snatch win in dying embers

Leigh Centurions beat Bradford Bulls 22-20 at the Leigh Sports Village, thanks to a 77th minute try from Reni Maitua which was converted by Lee Smith. The Centurions were 16-10 ahead at the break after tries from Smith, Gareth Hock and Greg Worthington. Kieren Moss and Omari Caro were the try-scorers for Bradford, who were six points down after Centurions fullback Smith kicked a penalty goal in the last minute of the period. In the second half, however, Bradford came out of the blocks with energy and they bagged the first two tries which created a four-point advantage. James Clare and Alex Mellor both touched down for the West Yorkshire side, whose lead stayed with them until three minutes from time when Maitua broke the hearts of the Bradford following.

Oldham move out of relegation zone

The first game of round 20 in the Kingstone Press Championship saw Oldham Roughyeds leapfrog Whitehaven in the table after a 24-16 win over      Sheffield Eagles at SHU Sports Park on Friday. The Roughyeds held a two-point lead at half-time after tries from Kieran Gill and Kenny Hughes as well as a penalty goal from Lewis Palfrey. Cory Aston and Quentin Laulu-Togagae were the try-scorers for Sheffield. In the second half, things got better for the visitors as Liam Thompson found his way over the whitewash with Palfrey converting once again. Debutant Stan Robin showcased his tricks for Sheffield with a try but the hosts, who were four points down heading into the final quarter, couldn’t get over the the line during the remainder of the tie. Lewis Foster bagged the final try of the contest, on a successful night for Scott Naylor’s men.

Fax dominate Swinton at Heywood Road
Any slip-up by Halifax before the end of the regular season will more than likely be capitalised on so every game is vital for Richard Marshall’s men, who showed their talents in all their glory against Swinton Lions in round 20. A 62-12 win will have pleased everybody associated with the West Yorkshire club, who are now three games away from another appearance in the Qualifiers. The visitors were 28-6 up at the interval following doubles from Ben Johnston and Ed Barber as well as a lone try courtesy of winger Will Sharp. Rhodri Lloyd scored Swinton’s only try of the first period. Scott Murrell and Barber both got over the whitewash in the second half before Gabriel Fell responded for the Lions. Soon after, Fax forward Jacob Fairbank was sin-binned for a professional foul but that didn’t stop his side registering two tries in his absence, Gareth Moore and Mitch Cahalane touched down prior to Gavin Bennion and Luke Ambler getting in on the act with four-pointers apiece.

Batley scrape home in Cumbria
In a hard-fought contest at the Recreation Ground on Saturday night, Batley Bulldogs beat Whitehaven 16-8 to strengthen their position in the division’s top four. Nothing could separate the two sides at the halfway stage as the score read 4-4. Grant Gore broke the deadlock for the hosts before they had to cope with a numerical disadvantage as Ted Chapelhow was sin-binned. Batley capitalised through James Brown who powered his way over the chalk to level the scores. In the second half, Wayne Reittie and Adam Gledhill notched consecutive tries for the visitors before Whitehaven winger Craig Calvert responded with a try of his own. Even with Calvert’s score, which wasn’t converted, Batley still led by eight points and that stayed the same for the rest of the match.

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