Betfred League 1 Round 18 Preview
August 5, 2022
Betfred League 1 is now into its home straight in 20222 with round 18 coming up this weekend.
A total of five matches will take place – one on Saturday with the remaining four games 24 hours later on Sunday.
The round starts at the New River Stadium with London Skolars hosting basement dwellers West Wales Raiders.
London will be searching for consecutive wins after a Jared Bassett inspired performance saw off Cornwall in round 17. Full-back Bassett bagged a brilliant four-timer and along with a brace from Greek second row Adam Vrahnos, London defeated the Choughs 46-4.
It was some performance from the Skolars who, after 34 minutes, trailed 6-0. Two quick-fire scores before the break meant Joe Mbu’s men led 12-6 at the break but they then scored 34 unanswered points in the second half to prevail.
For West Wales, they were eased aside 62-6 at the Eco-Power Stadium in their most recent match. The promotion chasing Dons were led by Tom Halliday’s treble while Jack Sanderson, Watson Boas and Ross Whitmore all crossed twice.
Ewan Badham’s try, converted by Shane Lee, were West Wales’ only points as they fell to a 62-6 loss.
On Sunday, three matches kick-off at 3.00pm and one of those sees Cornwall host North Wales Crusaders at the Memorial Ground, Penryn.
After a bright start at London Skolars in round 17, Cornwall were well beaten and will be looking to bounce back against the second placed Crusaders.
Anthony Murray’s side reduced the gap to leaders Keighley Cougars to four points with a hard fought 29-16 win over Oldham Roughyeds at the Vestacare Stadium.
The visitors trailed 10-8 after 40 minutes as Owen Restall’s try, along with three goals from Martyn Ridyard, put Oldham in command. Tries from Alex Eckley and Patrick Ah Van accounted for the Welsh side’s points.
But in the second half, North Wales found another gear and further scores from Brad Billsborough, Reece Briers, Chris Barrett and Rob Massam sealed victory.
Rochdale start life without Matt Calland with a trip to Doncaster. The Hornets and Calland (pictured below) parted ways by mutual consent earlier this week as Gary Thornton takes over at Spotland until the end of the season.
Calland’s last game in charge saw his now former employers lose 53-22 at home to Swinton Lions. Rochdale didn’t help their own cause by having three players sent to the sinbin during the match. Of those players to see yellow, Gavin Bennion was handed a two match ban by the Rugby Football League’s Match Review Panel. He will miss the Doncaster match and Cornwall’s visit to Rochdale seven days later.
Zac Baker, who was shown yellow for a tip tackle, has been referred to the RFL’s disciplinary tribunal while Pat Moran was handed a one game ban, also for a tip tackle.
For Swinton, they appear to be finding their straps at just the right time and they have a real chance of breaking Keighley’s 100 per cent record when the two teams meet at Heywood Road.
The round is completed on Sunday tea time when Midlands Hurricanes host Oldham at Portway with this game kicking off at 5.30pm.
Midlands come into the match with spirits high after they defeated Hunslet 24-0 away from home last week. It was a match of first for Richard Squires’ men – a first ever away win over heartlands opposition and the first time they had nilled opposition of any kind.
First half tries from Tom Wilkinson and Elliott Wallis, both converted by Ben Stead, gave MIdlands a 12-0 interval lead.
Hunslet huffed and puffed in search of a way back into proceedings with their cause not helped by coach Alan Kilshaw being forced to watch the game from the stands, owing to a two-game touchline ban.
In the second half, Tyler Walton’s 57th minute try put Midlands further in control before Liam Carr had a try chalked off for Hunslet. Victory was sealed when Stead kicked a penalty and Chris Cullimore dotted down in the dying embers.
Betfred League 1 round 18 fixtures – Sunday 3.00pm unless stated
Cornwall RLFC vs North Wales Crusaders
Doncaster vs Rochdale Hornets
London Skolars vs West Wales Raiders – Saturday, 3.00pm
Midlands Hurricanes vs Oldham Roughyeds – Sunday, 5.30pm
Swinton Lions vs Keighley Cougars