Chorley face extinction if search for backer fails

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The Independent Online

Chorley Lynx could be playing their last-ever match tomorrow, against York, following the decision to wind up the club. The crisis has been triggered by the millionaire businessman Trevor Hemmings ending his financial support for the National League Two club.

Chorley Lynx could be playing their last-ever match tomorrow, against York, following the decision to wind up the club. The crisis has been triggered by the millionaire businessman Trevor Hemmings ending his financial support for the National League Two club.

"He said he would stand by us for three years and has stood by us for four, so I've no qualms about that," said the Chorley chairman, Henry Morris. "But it leaves us in limbo, not knowing whether the club has a future. The club is debt-free and it would be nice to think that someone might come forward."

Chorley have had a chequered existence since being founded in 1989, including a stint as the Lancashire Lynx, playing at Deepdale, the home of football's Preston North End.

They have been back at Chorley's Victory Park for four seasons. A new backer could enable them to stay there, or an outside investor could propose an alternative plan to take them elsewhere. One possibility is that the club move to Blackpool, where the football club has shown an interest in staging rugby league occasions. Failing that, the Rugby League will need to promote a side from National League Three to make up the numbers for next season. A League spokesman said that they had not had any official notice of Chorley's intentions, but were aware of the speculation about their future.

Castleford are looking at a catastrophe of their own if they fail to win their match at Widnes today. Anything less than a victory will doom the Tigers to relegation from the top flight for the first time in their long and distinguished history.

Much could depend on the hamstrings of two Australian scrum-halves. Widnes's Willie Peters is expected to miss the game, but Cas's Brad Davis is convinced he will play. Steven Crouch is out with a knee injury, so Mike Smith is recalled for Cas.

"I'm staying upbeat," insisted their coach, Gary Mercer. "If we play to our potential, we can beat Widnes and then it's all down to next week against Wakefield."

Tomorrow's games will influence who finishes second in Super League. Stuttering Hull can get back on track at Salford, but they are without Jason Smith and Richie Barnett Snr for the rest of the season. By way of compensation, Gareth Raynor returns after his knee injury.

Bradford will remain in the driving seat if they win at Warrington, who have the former Bull Mike Forshaw back for the penultimate game of his career.

Next week the Bulls will face Sean Long, who has been cleared to make his comeback for St Helens in Friday night's game at Odsal. Long was suspended for three months for his part in a betting scandal and was originally told that he could not play in Saints' last match of the regular season because his ban did not expire until that night.

Mat Toshack plays his final home game for the London Broncos tomorrow after deciding to return to Australia after seven years with the club. The England rugby union wing and former Wakefield player Paul Sampson makes his debut.

Their opponents are without Brian Carney but have another hamstring victim, Danny Orr, back for the first time in almost two months and Terry Newton available after suspension.

One division down, Leigh can clinch first place in National League One if they win at Batley.

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