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Kingstone Press Championship Round 11 Review

Big wins for Featherstone and Bradford came in week 11 of the Championship, while there was great individual performances from players such as Dale Ferguson, Jy Hitchcox and Liam Kay of Bradford, Featherstone and Leigh respectively.

Batley Bulldogs 22-24 Whitehaven – Whitehaven snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium with a two point victory over Batley. The Cumbrians are now level on points with the Bulldogs on the league standings, and they’ve also jumped above neighbours Workington Town into 10th place. James Craven and Declan Hulme both scored braces for the hosts and visitors respectively, but it was Batley who went into the sheds at half-time with the lead as Scott Leatherbarrow found his way over the whitewash in the dying embers of the first 40 minutes. Former Haven back-rower Lee Mitchell extended Batley’s lead after the break but Whitehaven launched, and completed, a vital fightback which will have done their confidence a whole world of good. James Newton was the first Whitehaven to touch down in the final quarter, before Sam Brooks levelled the match in the 79th minute with a try in front of the sticks. Grant Gore converted the four pointer for Whitehaven to seal a ‘smash and grab’ triumph.

Prediction – Batley by 6

Result – Whitehaven by 2

Bradford Bulls 46-12 Sheffield Eagles – A very convincing win for the former Super League side from Odsal. Sheffield’s cause wasn’t helped with the early injury exit of Dom Brambani, the half-back didn’t come back on either so they had their backs to the wall in the creative department for the most part. Dale Ferguson scored the first try of the match on six minutes, and Tom Olbison followed up the Scotland international with a score of his own in the 20th minute. Etu Uaisele and Danny Williams ended the half’s scoring proceedings with a try apiece on the 30th and 33rd minute respectively. A 22-0 scoreline flattered the Eagles, who only had two goal-line drop-outs to show for their attacking endeavours. Ferguson completed his brace to start the Bulls procession in the second half. Adam Sidlow and Adam Henry brought up 40 points for Bradford as the match moved into the final quarter but scores from Scott Turner and Cory Aston stopped the Championship’s third placed side from being nilled. The final try of the match went to Adrian Purtell, who exploited a large defensive gap in the Eagles’ armoury.

Prediction – Bradford by 10

Result – Bradford by 34

Dewsbury Rams 28-32 Leigh Centurions – The Centurions received one hell of a scare in West Yorkshire from Glenn Morrison’s Dewsbury side. A Kieran Hyde penalty goal, along with a Rob Spicer try, had given the hosts an early 8-0 lead before Leigh replied in emphatic fashion with four pointers courtesy of Liam Kay, on two occasions, Gregg McNally and Martyn Ridyard. Karl Pryce went over with two minutes to spare for Dewsbury which have them a bit of a spring to their step. Dalton Grant cut the deficit even more after half-time with a try but Greg Worthington crossed for the visitors soon after. Kay completed his hat-trick halfway through the second half but a late Rams surge brought the game back to within four points as Luke Adamson and Grant again touched down. But, a full comeback wasn’t to be as Leigh kept their 100% record for another week.

Prediction – Leigh by 16

Result – Leigh by 4

Featherstone Rovers 72-0 Workington Town – An absolute mauling at the Big Fellas Stadium. Featherstone got off the mark on their home ground with a 72-0 victory over Workington, with Jy Hitchcox scoring a hat-trick as well as braces being notched by Jamie Cording and Alex Foster. The Rovers were 44-0 up at the break after eight tries were scored. There was one apiece for Hitchcox, Ian Hardman, Andy Ellis, Nathan Chappell, Gareth Moore and Foster while Cording got a first half brace. Remy Marginet and Jack Bussey added to Featherstone’s total in the second half, as did Hitchcox who completed his hat-trick. Foster managed to get his brace with seven minutes left of the match. It was certainly a good day to be a Featherstone Rover!

Prediction – Featherstone by 14

Result – Featherstone by 72

Halifax 40-6 Doncaster – Halifax made sure that Doncaster stay winless for yet another round of matches as they defeated the South Yorkshire side by a convincing 40-6 score. Fax were 28-0 up at the break as James Saltonstall, Ryan Maneely, Ben Heaton and Ross Divorty all posted four pointers in the opening quarters. The other two tries in the first half came from Gareth Potts and Scott Murrell. Pasqualle Dunn scored Doncaster’s only try of the match on the hour mark but it was Halifax who ended the scoring for the match through Tommy Saxton and Divorty.

Prediction – Halifax by 12

Result – Halifax by 34

Hunslet Hawks 12-32 London Broncos – The Broncos, who haven’t done overly well in away games this season, came away from West Yorkshire with the spoils after a professional performance against Hunslet. London were 22-6 up at half-time thanks to tries from Elliot Minchella, Tom Gilmore, Wes Naiqama and Matt Garside. Hunslet’s four pointer came courtesy of Luke Briscoe. Simon Brown of Hunslet and Rhys Williams of London exchanged the first two scores of the second half before Williams bagged his brace to conclude proceedings.

Prediction – London by 8

Result – London by 20

I study Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland. Write about the Kingstone Press Championship for a few websites, as well as doing match reports and previews for Sheffield Eagles.

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