Kingstone Press Championship Round 20 Review

Dewsbury Rams 40-10 Rochdale Hornets – Dewsbury Rams warmed up for their third Heavy Woollen derby of the season next weekend with a comfortable 40-10 win against Rochdale Hornets. This was the West Yorkshire club’s third win on the bounce as they moved up to eighth in the table. Paul Sykes passed 2000 points for his career in his 400th match on a memorable afternoon for the former Super League regular. Rob Spicer and Macauley Hallett both registered braces for Dewsbury as they picked up yet another win as their resurgence under Neil Kelly carried on in style.

Spicer opened the scoring after 13 minutes as Gareth Moore, who would be involved in everything good for the Rams, played the back-rower in. Sykes converted. Moore kicked a 40/20 to get Dewsbury into deep Rochdale territory and the hosts didn’t waste the opportunity as Toby Adamson touched down. Sykes on target again. Dale Morton extended Dewsbury’s advantage in the 23rd minute as he notched a superb individual score. Sykes added the extras. Spicer and Hallett finished the half by both crossing as the Rams went 28 points up at the interval.

After the restart, Rob Massam got the Hornets on the board but Danny Yates couldn’t kick the conversion. Normal service resumed on 53 minutes as Sykes and Moore linked up for the latter to go over the line. The following conversion brought up Sykes’ superb landmark. With 11 minutes to go, Lewis Galbraith was sin-binned and the Rams capitalised with Hallett’s second try of the game. Jordan Case replied in the shape of a consolation try for the Hornets, who are just one point clear of 11th-placed Swinton.

Featherstone Rovers 42-14 Batley Bulldogs – Featherstone Rovers cut the gap to second-placed London Broncos with a 42-14 victory over Batley Bulldogs at the LD Nutrition Stadium. In a game which saw three sin-binnings, Featherstone led for 65 minutes and ran away with the contest in the second half.

Batley broke the deadlock in the sixth minute thank to a Brad Day try, with Pat Walker adding the extras. Soon after, Scott Turner was awarded a penalty try and Ian Hardman levelled matters from the boot. Turner and Jordan Baldwinson both touched down in the space of four minutes as the hosts gained a bit more breathing space. Hardman could only convert the latter’s try. Eight minutes from time, Wayne Reittie got on the end of a Dom Brambani kick as Batley cut the deficit to one score before the interval. Walker couldn’t hit the target from the boot.

Jack Ormondroyd and John Davies crossed the chalk, and with Hardman’s two conversions, Featherstone were 14 points up ahead of the final quarter. In-between those tries was a sin-binning for Chris Ulugia, as with his side on a team warning, he was penalised for infringement. On the hour, Hardman kicked a penalty and things soon got better when Andy Bostock crashed over for his 100th career try. Another conversion all but sealed the game with 17 minutes remaining, Rovers 36-14 up. Dane Manning was sin-binned following a Bulldogs team warning but there was no damage done on the scoreboard. However, once the ex-Fax man returned Tom Lillycrop was shown a yellow card. Hardman finished the game with a try of his own as he took his side over the 40 point mark.

Halifax 20-18 Bradford Bulls – Halifax beat basement club Bradford Bulls 20-18 at the MBi Shay this afternoon. It was a great day for Steve Tyrer who brought up 2,000 career points with his goal-kicking performance while Josh Wood, Ben Heaton and Daniel Murray all crossed for the hosts. Four pointers from Ethan Ryan and Ed Chapelhow deep in the final quarter proved too little, too late for the Bulls.

Halifax got the scoreboard ticking in the 20th minute as Josh Wood opened the scoring. Tyrer kicked the conversion, as he did following Ben Heaton’s try soon after. The centre also extended Fax’s lead to three scores by the break as he slotted over a penalty. Richard Marshall’s men went into the break 14-0 up but they knew it was far from over.

As the final quarter approached, Bradford notched their first try of the afternoon thanks to Vila Halafihi. Oscar Thomas cut the deficit to eight points with the conversion. On 65 minutes, like his fellow Salford teammate Wood, Daniel Murray made his way over the whitewash with a strong close-range run. Tyrer converted for his landmark moment. Bradford did spring a surprise in the last few minutes as Ryan and Chapelhow both crossed but Fax held on for a win which puts them level on points with fourth-placed Toulouse, who they face next weekend.

Hull Kingston Rovers 40-22 London Broncos – Hull Kingston Rovers sealed the Kingstone Press Championship League Leaders Shield with a 40-22 victory over London Broncos at KCOM Craven Park. A superb first half showing earned the Robins a lot of breathing space as they went into the sheds 28-4 up. However, just like in their last match against Sheffield, the Robins were outscored by London in the second half but that would prove no consolation for Andrew Henderson’s side who came into the match on a ten-game win streak.

Kieren Moss opened the scoring for the hosts after four minutes, with Jamie Ellis unable to convert. Lee Jewitt and Andrew Heffernan both followed Moss over the whitewash for a try apiece. Moss completed his brace with ten minutes remaining of the half. Daniel Harrison got London on the board with their first four pointer of the contest but there was still time for Danny Addy to go over for KR, who led by four scores at the break.

Zach Dockar-Clay extended the hosts’ lead with the opening try of the second period before Harrison completed his brace in the final quarter. Jarrod Sammut notched an interception score for the Broncos, who showed more of what they’re about after the restart. Robbie Mulhern and Matty Gee swapped four pointers in the dying embers of the contest as the Robins’ first place finish in the Championship was confirmed.

Oldham 14-12 Toulouse Olympique – Worrying times for Toulouse Olympique as they were beaten once again, this time by Oldham who jumped out of the relegation zone with a 14-12 win. The Roughyeds came from 6-4 down at the break to seal a tight victory over the French club, who have lost form over the past few weeks.

Steve Nield crossed for the opening try of the game for Oldham after 12 minutes but it didn’t take too long for Toulouse to respond. Just over ten minutes later, Sebastien Planas touched down for Olympique with the conversion from Mark Kheirallah sailing between the sticks.

After the restart, George Tyson crossed to put Oldham back in front. Hewitt kicked the conversion to extend the lead to four points and thanks to two successive penalty goals before the final quarter, the Roughyeds had a two score lead. With 15 minutes remaining, Charles Bouzinac registered a try from dummy-half to keep the visitors in the contest. Kheirallah cut the deficit to two points but that was as close as Toulouse got to their opponents as the Roughyeds claimed a vital win.

Sheffield Eagles 42-34 Swinton Lions – Sheffield Eagles sealed their third win of the season over Swinton Lions in nail-biting fashion as Mark Aston’s men limped over the line. Ben Blackmore scored a hat-trick for the Eagles while Danny Richardson starred on dual-registration from St Helens. The Lions looked the more lively in the forwards, with Josh Barlow near to his destructive best. Jack Murphy bagged a first half hat-trick for Swinton but it proved to be a losing effort.

Sheffield raced into a 22-0 lead before Swinton cut the deficit to just six points by the break. It was a frenetic start by the Eagles, who broke the deadlock in the third minute thanks to Matt James. Richardson added the extras. The hosts improved on their advantage when Blackmore crossed the chalk following a killer ball to Jake Spedding from Remy Marginet. Richardson once again on target. The Saints half-back was at the forefront for Sheffield’s next score as he laid on a four pointer for Jack Owens. Blackmore completed his brace in the corner soon after, with Richardson missing his first conversion of the afternoon. However, being 22 points up seemed to make Sheffield complacent and Swinton more than capitalised. A five minute hat-trick from Murphy got the Lions back into the contest, as Chris Atkin kicked two from three conversions.

After the break, the Eagles extended their rather slender lead as Blackmore touched down following a break from Spedding. Two quick tries from the Lions made it nervy times once again for Sheffield as Shaun Robinson and Mike Butt both touched down. Just two points separated the sides and that was eradicated when Atkin kicked a penalty to level matters. Richardson kicked a penalty and, soon after, supported a break by Minchella to score a timely try. The conversion made it a two score game before Atkin kicked another penalty as the arrears were reduced to six. The visitors had a chance to level the scores following Rhodri Lloyd’s try in the corner but Atkin’s kick went wide. In the last minute of the game, Garry Lo scorched over from dummy-half to seal a hard-fought win for the South Yorkshire club.


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