With London Broncos facing the Newcastle Thunder on Friday night and the Batley Bulldogs hosting Leigh Centurions in the Premier Sports televised game on Monday, there were five Betfred Championship fixtures played out on Sunday afternoon, all with traditional three o´clock kick-offs.
There was a Cumbria derby between Barrow and Workington while the third side from the northwest, Whitehaven, made the trip south to Widnes to face the Vikings. Halifax Panthers were at home to the Sheffield Eagles and there was a West Yorkshire derby between Dewsbury and Featherstone, while the Bradford Bulls completed the rounds fixtures with a home game against the York City Knights.
On Friday night Newcastle were 10-0 up after ten minutes thanks to Nokes and Eaves before Bienek grabbed one back for the Broncos. Eaves scored a third try for the visitors before Nokes got his second for Newcastle to go in with a 22-6 half time lead. Lovell gave the home side some hopes of a fightback in the opening minute of the second half but that was soon to be extinguished. Nokes and Williams exchanged tries before Croft, Ta´ai, Bailey and Shorrocks all scored unanswered four pointers to extend the lead to 52-18 before a late Latu consolation try, unconverted, reduced the arrears to thirty points and a 52-22 Newcastle win.
The Widnes Vikings registered a big 56-16 win over a struggling Whitehaven side despite going behind early on to a Martin try. Fozard, Wilde, Farnworth and Lyons scored before the interval for 24-6 and when Fozard completed his hat-trick following a try from Edge there was no way back for ´Haven. Field and Tyrer added another two before a late rally from the visitors saw them score through Dixon and Barron but the Vikings had the last say in the match with a Roby try on the full time hooter.
Dewsbury took an early lead against Featherstone through Kibula but a try from Hellwelll, a brace from Kheirallah, and one from Bussey put Rovers 24-4 up after twenty-two minutes. McGowan scored for the Rams before the interval but so did Kheirallah to complete his hat-trick for 30-10 at the break. Both sides scored sixteen second half points, the Rams through Dixon, Schofield and McGowan while Rovers scored two from Smith and one from Jacks for a final score of 46-26.
It was all too easy for Halifax over Sheffield as they romped into a 24-0 half-time lead thanks to tries from Tibbs (2), Woodburn-Hall and Walmsley. Jones-Bishop and Welham both scored for Sheffield but not before Saltonstall had extended the home lead. Moore scored the Panthers sixth try of the afternoon before a Johnson try for the Eagles with Tibbs rounding off the scoring and completing his hat-trick with six minutes remaining for a final scoreline of 38-14.
The Cumbrian derby went the way of Barrow as they beat bottom side Workington by 26-12. Carter, Forster, Johnston and Cresswell put the home side 22-0 ahead at half time with tries from Tate and Simons being late consolation for Barrow before Toal completed the scoring for a somewhat narrower win than many predicted.
It turned out to be an easy win for the York City Knights at Odsal despite only being 4-0 ahead at the break thanks to a solitary try from Clarkson. Jubb, O´Hagan and Kirmond all added to York´s tally in the second half for 20-0 before a late Hall consolation on seventy-nine minutes prevented the nilling and gave a final score line of 6-20.
We will bring you a full match report on the Batley v. Leigh game tomorrow evening soon after the final hooter.