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League 1

17 Sep 2021

Betfred League 1 Preview | Play-Offs

Betfred League 1 Preview | Play-Offs

The Betfred League 1 play-offs begin this weekend and a mouthwatering pair of fixtures are all set to take place.

On Saturday night, third-placed North Wales Crusaders host Keighley Cougars, who finished fourth, for the right to face Workington Town next week for a place in the Promotion Final.

North Wales have been the surprise package in the third tier this year, finishing higher than they have done for almost a decade thanks to an incredible mid-season run of form which propelled them from mid-table to play-off certainties.

They won two of their first six league fixtures in 2021 ahead of a club record-breaking seven wins in a row between July 4 and September 5. That run was ended by Keighley so they will know to be on their game.

While the winner of that fixture is then potentially just 80 minutes away from a spot in the final, it won't be the end of the road for the losers who would then take on the winner of the Elimination Play-Off.

The Elimination Play-Off is an all or nothing clash between hosts Doncaster and visitors Hunslet - defeat for either side will result in the end of their 2021 season.

Doncaster's mid-season slump saw them fall from automatic promotion contenders to holding on to their play-off place, but their form in recent weeks has fiven room for optimism going into this weekend.

After a run of one win in seven - a spell which included handing West Wales Raiders their only point of the season in a 24-all draw in August - they racked up three wins in a row, handing out successive defeats to the league's top two in Workington and Barrow, before beating Coventry Bears.

Though they were on the end of a 28-26 reverse against in-form Keighley last time out, they will be hopeful of extending their season.

In the opposite camp, Hunslet opted for mid-season a change of coach, replacing Gary Thornton - who was axed on July 6 - with former Rochdale boss Alan Kilshaw, as they looked for a change of fortunes.

They went on to end the season in sixth place after ending the season with three wins in a row against Coventry (32-30), West Wales (82-6) and at Workington (32-14) last weekend so thise game could really go either way.

Betfred League 1 play-off fixtures -

Saturday - 6.30pm:

  • Qualifying Play-Off - live on Our League
  • North Wales Crusaders v Keighley Cougars

Sunday - 4pm kick off:

  • Elimination Play-Off - live on Our League
  • Doncaster v Hunslet