Several promotion and play-off issues will be resolved tomorrow as the Kingstone Press National Conference League hits the business end of the campaign.
The first elimination semi-finals are taking place in the Premier Division, where Thatto Heath, Egremont Rangers, Wath Brow Hornets and Underbank Rangers are battling for the right to face the losers of the first qualifying semi-final, in which Hunslet Club Parkside and West Hull will go head-to-head in nine days’ time.
Division One champions Thornhill Trojans, who have gained promotion for a third successive year, entertain Oulton Raiders – who are celebrating having avoided relegation, on the last day of the regular campaign – in a repeat of the 2006 Grand Final.
Who will join the Trojans in gaining automatic promotion? Second-placed Leigh Miners are at Pilkington Recs and, if they lose and third-place Lock Lane prevail at Skirlaugh, could find themselves resigned to being involved in the play-offs.
In Division Two West Bowling, once seemingly doomed to the drop, could book a berth in the play-offs, at the expense of Saddleworth Rangers, if they can win at Askam. And in Division Three, where
Millom, Clock Face Miners, Woolston Rovers and Eastmoor Dragons are all assured of play-off spots, the situation is nevertheless so tight that if the Dragons win at the Miners, Eastmoor could rise from sixth to second – subject to Millom losing at home to Salford City Roosters, and Woolston slipping at Waterhead.
Saturday 15 September 2018
CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFFS (ELIMINATION SEMI-FINALS)
Thatto Heath Crusaders v Underbank Rangers
Egremont Rangers v Wath Brow Hornets
Bradford Dudley Hill v York Acorn
Milford Marlins v Featherstone Lions
Pilkington Recs v Leigh Miners Rangers
Shaw Cross Sharks v Ince Rose Bridge
Skirlaugh v Lock Lane
Thornhill Trojans v Oulton Raiders
Askam v West Bowling
Wigan St Jude’s v Drighlington
Clock Face Miners v Eastmoor Dragons
Dewsbury Celtic v Gateshead Storm
Millom v Salford City Roosters
Oldham St Anne’s v Beverley
Waterhead Warriors v Woolston Rovers