Kells eyes victory to clinch title race

Kells celebrates a try against Wigan St Patrick’s. Photo Lee Macauley

Kells needs a victory tomorrow in the NCL Premier Division to lead the title chase through the final week.

The Whitehaven team lost 34-12 at Bradford to West Bowling to lose league leadership last week.

With two games to go, the Cumbrians trail Hull Dockers by two points, although they are still 78 points better on the score differential which could come in handy.

Kells will be heavy favorites to win tomorrow at home to the Featherstone Lions who crashed out 78-0 at Stanningley last week.

The Dockers are also at home to mid-table Oulton Raiders, but the top two sides would have to win to advance to the final matches.

To finish next week, Kells will go to Saddlesworth Rangers, who are next to bottom, but the Dockers will travel to Wigan St. Patrick’s, fourth in the table and tough to beat at home.

Kells coach Peter Smith was disappointed his team led 12-6 at halftime against West Bowling before giving up 28 unanswered runs.

“I’m afraid it speaks for itself. We didn’t show up in the second half and went on mute.

“We just need two points to get promoted and it would be nice to be champions, but that’s out of our hands now,” Smith said.

In the Premier Division, the Wath Brow Hornets come in fine form at the right time and in the last two games they have beaten champions Thatto Heath and new League winners West Hull.

Their penultimate game tomorrow is against Leigh Miners Rangers who might need a point to be mathematically safe from the drop.

The Hornets look to finish fourth or five as they and Thatto Heath jockey for the play-off positions.

Sadly, life in Egremont’s top-flight Rangers is coming to an end and despite last week’s much-needed victory over Rochdale Mayfield, they face a difficult trip to second-placed Hunslet Club Parkside.

Rangers are bottom of the Premier Division, two points behind Thornhill Trojans, with both clubs heading to Division One next season.

In League Two, Barrow Island looks destined for the play-offs with Crosfields likely to clinch second place in automatic promotion behind champions Heworth.

The Islanders, however, will love their chances of adding two more points to their total tomorrow when they host second-bottom Beverley.

In Division Three, Seaton Rangers contested the play-offs in their first National Conference League rugby season.

It’s a matter of where they end up for the play-off lineup – most likely third or fourth.

But they have a real test tomorrow, albeit an attractive one as they host leaders East Leeds who need a point from their last two games to be certain of the title.

Hensingham only have Eastmoor Dragons below them in the table – and they meet tomorrow at Wakefield.

Millom failed in his mid-season charge for a play-off spot and handed second-place Waterhead Warriors a tough game.

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