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Betfred League 1 Round 21 Preview

August 26, 2022

Play-off chasing Oldham defeated Cornwall in round 20 – Patrick Tod

The penultimate round in Betfred League 1 for 2022 begins tonight (Friday) as Hunslet welcome Doncaster to the South Leeds Stadium.

Hunslet’s play-off hopes have faltered in recent weeks and with Oldham finally hitting their straps at the business end of the campaign, Alan Kilshaw’s men are in real danger of missing out.

Even if the Parksiders do defeat Doncaster, that won’t be enough to secure sixth place. It will stretch their cushion to four points over Oldham, but with the Roughyeds travelling to Swinton on Sunday, and then facing Hunslet in the final round, the play-off battle could head into the last day.

In round 19, Hunslet faced Swinton at Heywood Road and the visitors made a dream start thanks to Jack Render’s second minute try.

And despite Lewis Hatton replying in kind for Swinton shortly after, Hunslet levelled just shy of the 20-minute mark as Pat Walker kicked a successful penalty.

Conceding points for a second time sparked Swinton into life and they went on to score 20 unanswered points to lead 26-6 at the interval.

Hunslet scored first in the second stanza to cut the arrears, but three further Swinton tries in the final 10 minutes secured victory for the Lions and they keep hold of third spot.

Keighley secured the title against Doncaster in round 20

Doncaster were beaten for the first time in nine games last time out with Keighley prevailing 48-18 at the Eco-Power Stadium. Victory for the Cougars, their 19th on the spin in the league this year, secured the title for Rhys Lovegrove’s charges.

Charlie Graham led the Cougars’ tally with a brace of tries and Jack Miller kicked eight goals from as many attempts. 

A day later on Saturday, London Skolars welcome Midlands Hurricanes to the New River Stadium. 

The Skolars were without a game in round 19 while the Hurricanes faced West Wales in Llanelli. The Raiders’ ill-discipline once again hampered their chances of victory as Shane Lee was sent to the sinbin for punching and Craig Lewis saw red after a striking offence was spotted by merry whistle blower Aaryn Belafonte.

Although Midlands ran out 36-4 winners, the score was only 6-4 to the Birmingham based side after 33 minutes.

However, three tries before the first half siren and two more in the final 10 minutes of the match overall, saw the Hurricanes home as Tyler Hepple scored twice.

West Wales travel to Rochdale on Sunday

Round twenty is then completed with three matches on Sunday.

North Wales Crusaders travel to champions Keighley and Anthony Murray’s side know that they must win to keep hold of second place with Swinton now breathing down their necks.

The Crusaders did just enough to see off a depleted Rochdale side in round 19 as two tries from Alex Eckley put Murray’s men 28-12 ahead with 10 minutes to go.

However, the game changed when Callum Hazzard saw red for persistent offending and this saw Rochdale score three times but North Wales held on to win 28-24.

Oldham’s late sure towards the play-offs moves to Swinton while the round is completed by West Wales’ final league game of the season when they travel to Rochdale.

Betfred League 1 Round 20 – 3.00pm Sunday unless stated

Hunslet vs Doncaster – Friday 7.30pm

London Skolars vs Midlands Hurricanes – Saturday 3.00pm

Keighley Cougars vs North Wales Crusaders

Rochdale Hornets vs West Wales Raiders

Swinton Lions vs Oldham