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  1. Below are the remaining fixtures for the top eight in League 1. It's reasonable to assume that Newcastle will leap-frog us on Saturday by beating Skolars at home. Finishing Top To finish top in this league we need to win all our remaining games — including three against top 5 clubs — and hope Hunslet and Workington do us a favour when they play Whitehaven. We need to ensure we keep to our end of that bargain. The lads will be up for it; can they pull it off? We've been beaten by the same three top 5 clubs already this season. Ignoring potential banana skins I can't see Newcastle losing other than against us. If we slip up against anyone and Whitehaven stutter, the league title is going NE. If Hunslet beat Whitehaven on the 27th, they'll consider themselves right back in it. We could potentially have a title decider in Leeds on the last day of the season if results elsewhere go our way and we've already won four games. Play-Off Places Finishing second gives you a home game in a semi-final; win and you're in the final, lose and you have a lifeline into the preliminary final. Finishing third means you play fourth at home. The winner is then away against 2nd in the semi-final. The loser plays the winner of fifth and sixth at home to get into the preliminary final. Finishing fourth follows the same path as third except you start off away. Finishing fifth or sixth is the toughest path. You need to win three games to get to the final, all away apart from fifth play sixth at home in Round 1. A Neutral Outlook If heartland clubs always win at home and always beat non-heartland clubs away (counting Newcastle as heartland here) and then non-heartland clubs win at home against other non-heartland clubs (except WW Raiders who always usually lose), I think the final table will end up like this: 32 Whitehaven 29 Newcastle 28 Oldham 28 Hunslet 22 Doncaster 21 Workington 18 North Wales Crusaders 15 London Skolars We'd then play Newcastle away in Round 1, with a lifeline. We really need Haven to stutter and then make sure we beat Newcastle at home, well, win all our games in truth! All could change with banana-skin incidents or heartland clubs beating other heartland clubs away etc. Who knows what's going to happen! The Fixtures * I'm editing this list as time goes by. Whitehaven [26pts] [A] Keighley Cougars [H] West Wales Raiders [A] Coventry Bears Oldham [24pts] [H] Doncaster [A] Coventry Bears [A] Hunslet Newcastle [23pts] [H] Coventry Bears [H] North Wales Crusaders [A] Keighley Cougars Hunslet [22pts] [A] London Skolars [H] Workington [H] Oldham Doncaster [20pts] [A] Oldham [H] Keighley Cougars [A] Workington Workington Town [19pts] [A] Hunslet [H] Doncaster London Skolars [15pts] [H] Hunslet [A] North Wales Crusaders North Wales Crusaders [14pts] [A] West Wales Crusaders [A] Newcastle Thunder [H] London Skolars
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