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Championship

22 Sep 2022

Betfred Championship Preview | Play-Off Semi-Finals

Betfred Championship Preview | Play-Off Semi-Finals

Just four teams remain in the Betfred Championship who are still in contention of securing promotion to the Betfred Super League. Here is a look at both fixtures taking place this weekend in the Semi-Finals.

Both games will take place on Sunday and will be shown live on Premier Sports. It is the league leaders, Leigh Centurions who will host York City Knights in the first match.

Leigh had a very memorable success earlier in the season at the Leigh Sports Village against Sunday’s opponents. The Leythers scored 17 tries as they completed a new record victory with a 100-4 win in Round 24. 

During the hammering of the North Yorkshire side, Joe Mellor completed a hat-trick, meanwhile Mark Ioane, Ed Chamberlain and Sam Stone all scored braces.

This was the second victory Leigh had recorded over York after the two sides had already met in Round Four. Leigh had a narrow advantage at the break, Will Jubb had scored for York, however three penalties from Ben Reynolds put Leigh into a 6-4 lead. Six second half tries, including two from Reynolds allowed Leigh to power away to a 40-4 success.

Leigh were free scoring in the league with 1306 points in 27 matches, meanwhile defensively they only shipped 208 points, which was less than half of what their nearest had achieved.

York will have a huge ask when they travel to Leigh, however James Ford’s side will be hoping they can test the Leythers.

York will head to the Leigh Sports Village searching for their first victory since September 1st, 2019, when they narrowly defeated the hosts 24-23.

The Knights travelled to third place Halifax Panthers in the Eliminators and surprised some people as they progressed due to a James Glover penalty from halfway, which proved to be the winning points during the 26-24 contest at The Shay.

York head into the match off the back of their four successive wins after defeating Sheffield Eagles, Newcastle Thunder and Workington Town, before last weekend’s win at Halifax.

The City Knights are the lowest ranked club remaining after finishing the season in sixth, however they are just eighty minutes away from a place in the Betfred Championship Grand Final.

The other fixture will follow as Featherstone Rovers host Batley Bulldogs at 4PM in front of the Premier Sports cameras.

Despite finishing second in the table and only losing three matches all Championship season, Featherstone have failed to defeat Batley in 2022 in the league.

The first meeting between the two sides came in March during Round Five of the Challenge Cup, where Craig Hall scored a brace during Featherstone’s nine-try victory.

Brian McDermott’s side did surpass the 1000 points mark this season as they scored 1060, however defensively they conceded 468 which with the third least in the division behind Leigh and Halifax.

Featherstone have won their last six matches, with their last defeat coming in Round 21 to Leigh Centurions at the Summer Bash.

Batley have surprised many this season and as mentioned previously, they are unbeaten in the league this season against Featherstone.

The first meeting in the Betfred Championship season came back in March in Round Six, when a late Luke Hooley penalty snatched a point for Batley. That was the first point dropped by Featherstone.

Then the sides met at the Millennium Stadium in Round 16. Hooley once again played a key role as his double was key as Batley defeated Featherstone 28-20. Batley were the only side other than Leigh who picked points up against the Rovers.

 

Fixtures

Sunday

  • Leigh Centurions v York City Knights – 2PM – Live on Premier Sports
  • Featherstone Rovers v Batley Bulldogs – 4PM – Live on Premier Sports