Championship Shield Round-up: Relegation battle heats up

The three-way battle to avoid relegation is tighter than ever after some huge results in the Championship Shield’s Bank Holiday Monday action.

Just one point separates Oldham, Swinton and Rochdale after the Roughyeds and the Lions picked up victories.

Most significantly, Oldham’s victory came against the Hornets, as Scott Naylor’s side ended a six-game winless run to move to within a point of their fierce rivals following a 30-24 victory.

Two tries from Joe Burke were instrumental for Oldham, with Luke Adamson, Adam Clay and Luke Hooley also scoring, while fullback Hooley also crucially kicked five goals, which bettered that of counterpart Lewis Palfrey, who kicked just two conversions for Rochdale.

Meanwhile, Swinton picked up a hugely impressive victory over in-form Dewsbury, defeating the Rams 35-28.

Neil Kelly’s side had won eight of their previous nine games before the visit of the Lions, but Chris Hankinson’s 18-point haul, which featured a try and seven goals, secured victory for Stuart Littler’s men.

The results leave Oldham in the drop zone on 14 points. Swinton are also on 14 points but have a better points difference while Rochdale are on 15 points with three games to play.

Elsewhere, Bradford Bulls’ two-game winning run came to an end as they went down 44-18 to Batley.

Matt Diskin’s side had young forward James Harrison, the son of former Great Britain forward Karl Harrison, to thank after he scored a first-half hat-trick, while he was followed by hooker Alistair Leak, who also bagged a treble.

Meanwhile, Toulouse remain top of the competition following a 32-16 win over Sheffield Eagles.

Both teams have already confirmed their place in the Shield play-offs, but it was the French outfit who came out victorious in this one as influential hooker Johnathon Ford marked his return from a three-month injury absence with a try.