The seventh instalment of the Betfred Championship Summer Bash arrives at York’s LNER Community Stadium this weekend, with seven thrilling fixtures set to take place across the second tier - plus the Women's Super League meeting between York Valkyrie and Warrington Wolves.
Whether it’s been in Blackpool or at Headingley, the Summer Bash has produced a host of unforgettable moments for both supporters and players alike over the years. Here, we look at five of the very best…
Kheirallah dazzles for Olympique - 2018
The 2018 edition of the Championship’s flagship event saw London Broncos and Toulouse Olympique face off, with the latter running out as deserved 40-28 winners.
The game was the event’s joint-highest in terms of points scored, but it was one player’s individual performance that well and truly stole the show.
With two tries and six goals, Olympique’s star fullback Mark Kheirallah starred for the French side, but it was his involvement in Tony Maurel’s first try of the day that helped create one of the Bash’s greatest ever moments.
After collecting Jarrod Sammut’s teasing kick close to his own try line, the lively Kheirallah broke over 80 metres, danced his way past several London defenders, before finding the onrushing James Worthington who then sent Maurel over to round off an incredible move.
Ainscough’s Soreen celebration - 2019
A year later saw Rochdale Hornets winger Shaun Ainscough provide one of the most iconic try celebrations you’re ever likely to see.
After catching the Swinton Lions backline off guard, the former Wigan, Bradford and Batley man bulldozed his way over to grab his 100th career try, but no one could have expected what was to happen next.
At the time, Rochdale were celebrating a partnership with renowned food brand Soreen and were even donning a Soreen-themed kit at that year’s Bash. Ainscough, however, would take this partnership to the next level through an extremely unique try celebration.
Whilst most players will normally fist bump their teammates, or raise their arms in jubilation after scoring a try, Ainscough, amazingly, opted to pull out a Soreen bar from his sock, before proudly tucking into the snack in front of the fans in attendance and Sky Sports cameras.
It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is undoubtedly one of the Bash’s most memorable moments.
Chisholm inspires Rovers to ruthless victory - 2019
On the same weekend, Dane Chisholm led Featherstone Rovers to a remarkable 42-10 victory over third-placed York.
Rovers headed into the game in seventh place, four points adrift of favourites York, but Chisholm clearly hadn’t read the script.
In what was an inspiring performance, the French international opened the scoring through a classy breakaway try, produced an outrageous try assist to send Luke Briscoe over for Rovers’ third score, and kicked five goals.
York’s best efforts could not prevent Chisholm from controlling the game, with the halfback at the heart of anything positive Rovers produced in a comfortable win.
Batley secure bragging rights in thrilling comeback – 2016
The Heavy Woollen Derby between the Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams is one of the fiercest local rivalries within the game, and the 2016 Summer Bash edition of the fixture was certainly no different.
Dewsbury raced into a 12-0 lead through Jason Crookes and Paul Sykes, before Batley got themselves on the scoresheet through a try from Chris Ulugia.
The Rams then responded through a well-worked try which was finished off by now Batley star Dale Morton, which Sykes converted to take the scoring to 18-4.
Batley, however, fought back in emphatic fashion after claiming three further scores through Greg Minikin, James Brown, and Tom Lillycrop, but Dewsbury would respond once more with a try from Dalton Grant to level the scoring at 24 apiece.
Unfortunately for the Rams, the boot of Patrick Walker would prove the ultimate difference, with the substitute and teammate Dominic Brambani both scoring late drop goals to secure a thrilling 28-24 triumph.
Beharrell drop goal seals victory for Swinton – 2016
Oldham looked destined to defeat fellow Greater Manchester side Swinton Lions at the 2016 Bash after cruising to a 20-0 half-time lead.
Kenny Hughes, Danny Langtree and Adam Files’ tries, plus four goals from Lewis Palfrey meant the Roughyeds were flying by the break, with few anticipating a Swinton revival.
John Duffy’s Lions had other ideas, however, and flew out of the blocks following the interval, scoring two tries in the opening five minutes through Macauley Hallett and Chris Atkin.
The latter would convert both scores, before Welsh international Rhodri Lloyd strolled over from close range in the 64th minute - Atkin would then add the extras.
Five minutes later, Matty Beharrell latched onto his own kick to ground the ball and turn the game on its head, but Oldham would respond four minutes from time through winger Adam Clay.
Unfortunately for Oldham, Palfrey was unsuccessful from the resulting conversion, which then paved the way for Beharrell to land a dramatic drop goal in the final minute to secure a crucial victory for Swinton.
Tickets for the 2023 Summer Bash at York’s LNER Community Stadium on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May are now on sale. Weekend tickets are available from £35 for Adults & £17.50 for U16s while day tickets are available to buy now from £20 for Adults & £10 for U16s.