Rochdale go clear of relegation danger + Championship Shield reports

Batley Bulldogs 38-0 Dewsbury Rams – Batley Bulldogs got one over on their Heavy Woollen neighbours with an emphatic 38-0 victory at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium. Wayne Reittie scored four tries for the hosts on a superb day for Matt Diskin’s men.

Reittie scored the first two tries of the match for Batley as they went into a 10-0 lead. Dane Manning extended the hosts’ advantage before the break with a great solo try. The conversion was successful.

It was deja vu for all at Batley as Reittie scored the opening two tries of the second period, all but sealing victory at 26-0. Manning and Alex Rowe added a four pointer apiece as the Bulldogs came close to the 40 point mark but couldn’t quite make it.

Oldham 18-24 Toulouse – Oldham remain in the relegation zone after being beaten 24-18 against Toulouse Olympique at Bower Fold.

Rhys Curran put Toulouse in front with the first try of the contest after three minutes. Mark Kheirallah couldn’t convert. Kenny Hughes scored as the lead changed hands following a successful conversion from Luke Hooley. Hooley doubled his points tally with a penalty goal soon after. Gavin Marguerite levelled matters with Toulouse’s second try but once again the conversion went astray. Hooley then regained Oldham’s advantage with another penalty. At half-time, the Roughyeds led 10-8.

Hooley kept up his penalty ways with his third of the match after the break. The final quarter was fast approaching when Con Mika made it 12-12. A third missed conversion in as many attempts meant Toulouse still had work to do. However, tries from Tyla Hepi and Mark Kheirallah gave the French side some much needed breathing space and the latter also converted both. Kenny Hughes grabbed an important try with five minutes to go, converted by Hooley. But Oldham couldn’t force their way over to nick a share of the spoils. Next week’s game against Swinton Lions has a lot riding on it.

Rochdale Hornets 16-8 Swinton Lions – Rochdale Hornets all but sealed their Championship status for 2018 with a 16-8 victory against Swinton Lions at the Crown Oil Arena. Three points now separate the Hornets from 11th-placed Oldham and 10th-placed Swinton, who both play each other next week. A draw in that game, and a loss for Rochdale at Sheffield would keep the Hornets in danger but it seems highly unlikely.

It was always going to be a close contest and the half-time score of 2-2 represented that. Swinton got the ball rolling with a Chris Hankinson penalty but the Lions were soon pegged back after Danny Yates’ goal levelled matters.

After the break, Yates got Rochdale in front for the first time in the match with his second penalty of the afternoon. The Hornets took control when Declan Kay touched down for the first try of the afternoon. Yates on target again for a 10-2 lead. Ilias Bergal kept Swinton’s hopes of a victory alive as his converted try cut the deficit to two points but Rochdale had enough in the tank to get over the winning line. Lewis Foster’s converted score proved enough for the Hornets as they took a massive step towards survival.

Sheffield Eagles 18-32 Bradford Bulls – Sheffield Eagles were beaten for a third consecutive Championship Shield game as Bradford Bulls triumphed 32-18 at the Beaumont Legal Stadium. Omari Caro scored a hat-trick for the visitors, who showed that relegation hasn’t dampened their spirits with a decent performance against lacklustre and indisciplined opposition.

Bradford opened the scoring with two tries inside 12 minutes. Vila Halafihi broke the deadlock after being played through a gap by Cory Aston. The former Eagles man added the extras. Caro got on the scoresheet soon after as a looping kick caught Ben Blackmore out and the winger had a walk-in. Aston was successful from the touchline. Two tries in quick succession got Sheffield back into the contest. Mark Mexico came on from the bench and made a great impact, playing a short ball to Elliot Minchella who touched down. Simon Brown converted but was unable to find the target with his next attempt which came after Matty Fozard powered through a gap to score. With a minute of the half remaining, Bradford landed a sucker punch in the shape of Caro’s second try of the afternoon. Aston couldn’t convert but the visitors went into the break 16-10 up.

After the restart, Sheffield took the lead thanks to another quick double-salvo. Firstly, Remy Marginet kicked to the corner for Blackmore to juggle the ball before grounding it safely. Brown couldn’t convert and he had the same luck on the other wing following Garry Lo’s try. At 18-16, Sheffield were in front and looking to stamp their authority on proceedings but they were unable to do so as Bradford took advantage of sloppy mistakes. Iliess Macani regained the Bulls lead before, in the final quarter, Caro bounced off a number of would-be tacklers to touch down for a superb solo effort. Aston made it a two score game with the conversion. With two minutes remaining, Bradford added gloss to the final scoreline as Lee Smith trundled through a gap in the defence. Aston landed the conversion.

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