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Betfred League 1 Round Seven Preview

May 6, 2023

Cornwall face Oldham on Sunday while London Skolars (white) travel to Midlands Hurricanes – Matt Friday/Cornwall Sports Media

Betfred League 1 returns after a two week hiatus owing to the Challenge Cup’s fifth round and England’s mid-season international against France.

All four matches take place tomorrow (Sunday) with Cornwall’s trip to Oldham kicking things off with a 1.00pm start at Whitebank. 

Stuart Littler’s side will be looking to bounce back from their narrow 26-22 defeat at fellow promotion hopefuls Doncaster on April 16. The Choughs’ visit to Lancashire presents veteran home winger Patrick Ah Van with the opportunity to bag his 150th senior try in a career which has spanned all three senior divisions – Bradford Bulls, Widnes Vikings and North Wales Crusaders are amongst the 35-year-old’s former clubs. 

For Cornwall, Mike Abbott’s side suffered a heavy defeat against current table toppers Dewsbury Rams last time out. The Rams were the only side to play over the international break, defeating basement dwellers London Skolars at the New River Stadium.

However, Rams chief Liam Finn was less than impressed with the second half performance of his side who, despite holding a 36-0 interval lead, only ended up winning the game 48-16.

Dewsbury, with a perfect record of seven league wins from as many games, sit out this weekend while the Skolars will hope to take encouragement from that second half showing as they travel to Midlands Hurricanes.

Richard Squires’ outfit have just one league win to their name so far this season when they defeated Cornwall 44-6 on the opening day. Midlands flattered to deceive in that match though and but for a 20-minute blitz in which they scored five tries during the opening stanza, and the presence of four dual-registered players from Castleford Tigers, Cornwall more than matched the now Birmingham based side. 

In the chasing pack trying to keep on the coattails of Dewsbury, it’s second versus third with Doncaster hosting Workington Town at the Eco-Power Stadium.

Like Dewsbury, Richard Horne and his Doncaster side have a perfect league record although they were pushed in spells against Cornwall on Easter Saturday and only just snuck past Oldham before the break.

Workington seem to be clicking into gear after a slow start and have won four of their first five games. This included a dramatic victory against North Wales Crusaders last month as Town coach Anthony Murray put one over his former employers North Wales Crusaders.

The Colwyn Bay outfit, who are still looking for their first points of the season, complete the round with a trip to another of the division’s struggling teams Rochdale Hornets.

Spotland chief Gary Thornton has once again been busy in the transfer market this week as his revolving door of player activity continues. 

Rochdale’s most recent loan acquisition is one that has raised eyebrows as Umyla Hanley, son of rugby league legend Ellery Hanley, makes the move across Lancashire from Leigh Leopards for two weeks.

Betfred League 1 Round Seven Fixtures

(All Sunday 3.00pm unless stated

Doncaster vs Workington Town

Midlands Hurricanes vs London Skolars

Oldham vs Cornwall – 1.00pm 

Rochdale Hornets vs North Wales Crusaders