Oldham fight for draw + Championship Shield reports

Kingstone Press Championship Preview

Batley Bulldogs 22-22 Oldham – Batley Bulldogs surrendered a 22-0 lead as they were left to settle for a 22-22 draw against Oldham at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. The opening 20 minutes of the game was dominated by the hosts but the Roughyeds soon found themselves back in the contest and would have took the spoils back to Bower Fold if it wasn’t for Dave Hewitt’s last minute drop goal hitting the woodwork.

Jason Crookes and Dane Manning both touched down within five minutes of each other to get the Bulldogs off to a flyer and it didn’t take long for the third score to come around. Dom Brambani was next over the whitewash, followed by Dave Scott and Batley were in a superb position at 22-0 after as many minutes. Oldham got a try back before half-time through Michael Ward but it was still a tough challenge for Scott Naylor’s men heading into the second half.

Just before the final quarter, Sam Gee crossed the whitewash to spark more hope for the visitors and things got better when Ben Morris also added a four pointer. Adam Clay’s 68th minute try levelled the scores and it was anyone’s game but neither side could grab the game by the scruff of the neck as the points were shared.

Sheffield Eagles 28-35 Dewsbury Rams – Dewsbury Rams kept their good form going with a 35-28 victory over Sheffield Eagles at the Beaumont Legal Stadium.

Macauley Hallett and Matty Fozard exchanged tries for the Rams and Eagles respectively before the visitors took the initiative with four pointers from James Glover and Dom Speakman. Elliot Minchella cut the deficit to eight points with a try just before half-time, Dewsbury led 18-10.

The game ebbed and flowed for a while as the teams kept swapping scores until the final quarter. Gareth Potts and Garry Lo both got on the scoresheet for their respective sides before Aaron Brown and Matt James did the same. A drop goal from Paul Sykes was timely, giving the visitors a two score lead and the Rams sealed the win as they got the ball back deep inside the Eagles half from the hosts’ own kickoff. Sam Day touched down for Neil Kelly’s men, leaving George Milton’s last-gap try nothing but a consolation.

Swinton Lions 16-30 Bradford Bulls – Bradford Bulls beat Swinton Lions 30-16 at Heywood Road as they maintained their reasonable Championship Shield form.

Nothing could separate the sides at half-time as the scoreline read 10-10. Andy Bracek and Shaun Robinson scored Swinton’s four pointers while the Bulls got on the board via James Bentley and Vila Halafihi.

After the break, Mikolaj Oledzki and Sam Hallas extended the visitors’ lead with converted tries but Luke Waterworth’s effort before the final quarter meant the final 20 minutes were finely poised to say the least. Bentley completed his brace prior to a Cory Aston penalty goal as Bradford saw the game out. Both sides finished the game with 12 men as Josh Barlow and Damien Sironen both saw yellow.

Toulouse Olympique 50-12 Rochdale Hornets – Toulouse Olympique blew pas Rochdale Hornets at State Ernest Argeles on Saturday night, all due to a strong final quarter. The French club were dominant in the final 20 minutes as they ran away with the contest to the dismay of the travelling Hornets

The hosts were 22-12 up at the interval and got off to a storming start thanks to a quick fire brace from full-back Mark Kheirallah. Danny Yates replied for the Hornets before Gavin Marguerite and Kuni Minga both struck for Toulouse. Gary Middlehurst notched the final score of the first period, which kept Rochdale in with a chance.

It took until the 62nd minute for Toulouse to extend their lead. Forward Con Mika touched down and the floodgates opened after that. Middlehurst was sin-binned and Toulouse took advantage with four tries in the last ten minutes of proceedings. Charles Bouzinac, Minga, Stan Robin and Bastien Ader all crossed for Olympique who got to the 50 point mark in the process.