Atkin relishing tough battle

Swinton Lions’ semi-final match winner Chris Atkin is anticipating the toughest challenge of the season when they lock horns with Keighley Cougars in the Kingstone Press League 1 play-off final on Sunday October 4 (2.00pm).

Atkin, who kicked the winning drop-goal in the semi-final decider against York City Knights last weekend, is gearing up for Swinton’s second final in 2015 having featured in the team that lost to North Wales Crusaders in the iPro Sport Cup final.

The Lions have the upper hand on Keighley having beaten them four times in 2015, but Atkin believes their clash at the Select Security Stadium, Widnes, will be a much sterner test.

“It’s going to be the toughest game of our season, without a doubt,” he said.

“They’re (Keighley) a good side with plenty of experienced players and in a final, it’s about who turns up on the day and performs better.

“We were disappointed losing to North Wales in the iPro Sport Cup final, but we have a chance now to win some silverware and get promoted back to the Championship.”

Atkin has been a linchpin of the Swinton team this season, and his drop-goal in golden-point extra-time last week provided the Lions with the chance for a swift return to the Championship.

But the 22-year-old puts his form down to the work done by his team-mates despite his boot securing their place in the play-off final.

“It was a really proud moment knocking over that drop-goal last week – the highlight of my career so far,” said Atkin.

“But I’ve got to give the credit to my team-mates – without the hard work the forwards and our backline do, I wouldn’t be able to be in that position to kick a drop-goal.

“They’ve been great all year, and I’m sure they’ll lay the platform again on Sunday for us to hopefully take that crown.”

The 2015 Kingstone Press Championship finals day schedule is as follows:

11.30am – Conference Challenge Trophy final – Leigh Miners Rangers v Wath Brow Hornets

2.00pm – Kingstone Press League 1 play-off final – Keighley Cougars v Swinton Lions

4.30pm – Kingstone Press Championship Shield final – Featherstone Rovers v London Broncos

See a full report from Sunday’s matches in Monday issue of League Express