Dewsbury's promotion hopes over

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Dewsbury have called off their bid to win promotion to Super League. The winners of the Northern Ford Premiership announced last night that they are to stay in that division, rather than continuing to try to meet the criteria for Super League.

Dewsbury have called off their bid to win promotion to Super League. The winners of the Northern Ford Premiership announced last night that they are to stay in that division, rather than continuing to try to meet the criteria for Super League.

"We have been talking to our staff and many of our sponsors and we now believe that our immediate future is in the Premiership," their chairman, Bob McDermott, said. "I have the backing of our coach, Neil Kelly, who has accepted an offer of a new three-year contract."

Dewsbury have had proposals to play their home games at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield rejected, and were hoping their own ground could be brought up to standard, although yesterday's change of track will be now seen as an admission of defeat by the club. "We believe our fans will back this decision," said McDermot.

Super League's bottom club, Huddersfield-Sheffield, are well on their way to losing the second half of their name.

Low crowds have forced the Giants to switch their game against Wakefield on 3 September from Bramall Lane to the McAlpine Stadium and they are to review the whole question of playing in Sheffield.

The Giants are also awaiting the arrival of Tony Smith, hot-foot from a play-off match in Australia with his club, Parramatta, to be interviewed for their vacant coaching job.

Smith will not arrive in time tomorrow to see the Giants play Leeds, who will have Iestyn Harris and Karl Pratt playing for the second day in a row after representing a combined Leeds side in the Middlesex Sevens, and Adrian Morley out injured.

The other Tony Smith, Wigan's Great Britain half-back, makes his comeback for them against Halifax tonight. Smith has been kept out of the first team by a combination of his leg injury and the strong partnership stuck up by Willie Peters and Andy Farrell. Peters' strained hamstring gives him his opportunity to return against a Halifax side lacking the suspended Andy Hobson.

The Super League leaders, St Helens, are at Wakefield and have Julian O'Neill back in their squad after a dead leg.

Shane Millard will play his first game as hooker for London against Salford, because of Dean Callaway's injury. Salford's Martin Offiah hopes to return against his previous club.

Warrington were reassured by Allan Langer this week that he will be with them again next season. Their visitors today, Hull, still cling to an outside chance of making the play-offs.

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