The Championship Chat: Round 4

Another round of Kingstone Press Championship fixtures have come and gone and now we take a look back at the round. A few interesting results thrown in at the weekend as the table takes shape after the first month of the campaign.

Bradford fight back to claim draw

In a complete role reversal to Leigh’s round three match against London, it was Neil Jukes’ side who looked heavy favourites to pick up the win in this tie at the Provident Stadium. However, despite being 32-6 down with 15 minutes of the game remaining, Bradford amazingly fought back to claim a draw thanks to Danny Addy’s touchline conversion in the final minute. Leigh were 14-6 to the good at half-time courtesy of tries from Jonathan Pownall and Ryan Brierley, with two conversions and a penalty goal coming from the boot of Lee Smith. Kris Welham was the lone first half try-scorer for the Bulls. Smith, Brierley and Reni Maitua all scored consecutive four-pointers to kick start the second half in perfect fashion for the Centurions. But those tries, and the wide gap between the two sides, caused complacency to set in on Leigh’s part and Bradford were there to strike with enough time to miraculously get some sort of reward out of the game. James Clare notched twice in five minutes and that marked the start of the comeback. Tries from Adrian Purtell and Danny Addy brought the deficit down to just six points as the game entered the final five minutes. In those five minutes, Caro scored the biggest try of the afternoon shortly followed by the most important kick from Addy which completed a marvellous comeback for the Bulls but left Leigh shellshocked. An unbelievable sequence of events.

Batley conquer Fax at The Shay

We keep talking about them because they keep earning the positive headlines! Batley, once again, proved people wrong by beating Halifax 17-12 at The Shay. Even after their tough start to the season, the Bulldogs have only lost one match and that was only by two points against Featherstone. This match was always going to be a tight encounter and it took 25 minutes for the opening score which came from Halifax’s Dane Manning. Steve Tyrer added the conversion. Batley hit back with a try of their own through Alex Bretherton, and Dom Brambani tagged on the extras as well as a penalty goal soon after to put his side 8-6 up at the break. Gareth Moore regained ‘Fax’s lead after the restart but the Bulldogs showed their mettle as the game went on and Brambani crossed the whitewash to level matters, then converted his own try to put the visitors ahead once more. Pat Walker struck a penalty goal, and Brambani slotted over a drop goal in the dying embers to seal the victory for a Bulldogs side who have been mightily impressive in the opening weeks.

London scrape past Workington

A weird 80 minutes at the Zebra Claims Stadium saw London Broncos defeat Workington Town 16-13. Nothing could separate the two sides at half-time as the score read 6-6. The hosts’ try came from Jarrod Sammut and it was James Cunningham who got the Broncos on the scoreboard. Sammut was the main focus in attack for Town and the former Super League halfback added his second try of proceedings to put his side in the lead. However, London had the answers in reply with Rhys Williams and Matt Garsdie both forcing their way over the whitewash to put Andrew Henderson’s side into a winning position that they wouldn’t let go of. Interestingly, Workington struck a drop goal in the final few minutes to cut the Broncos’ lead to just three points at 16-13 but the Cumbrians couldn’t find the killer try to take the spoils.

Top try-scorers

5- Lee Gaskell (Bradford)

5 – Josh Guzdek (Dewsbury)

4 – Steve Tyrer (Halifax)

4 – Cory Aston (Sheffield)

4 – Sam Hopkins (Leigh)

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