Leeds earthbound as Sheffield soar

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Eagles damaged Leeds' championship aspirations with a rare win over their Yorkshire rivals, a 31-22 win ending Leeds' run of 15 games without defeat.

The narrowest of victories gave Hull's fading hopes of avoiding relegation a welcomed fillip when they ended a run of seven straight defeats by squeezing past Wakefield 11-10.

Although still anchored to the foot of the table, Hull's first win since early January owed much to an inspired performance by their captain, Steve McNamara, whose 69th-minute penalty sealed the win.

Warrington, lacking their own inspirer, Jonathan Davies, looked instead to another Welshman, Iestyn Harris, to garner the points at Workington.

Harris laid on two of Wire's five tries and kicked five goals as Warrington recovered from a 12-8 half-time deficit to win 18-30. A spirited performance by the Derwent Park side, however, included Kevin Pape's 200th try in senior rugby.

Widnes eased their relegation worries with an impressive six-try haul to beat Oldham 40-4. Oldham's resistance crumbled in the second half and on this form they look unlikely to trouble Wigan in Saturday's Silk Cut Challenge Cup semi-final.

Karl Hammond scored the first of his two tries after 27 minutes before John Devereux went over in first-half injury time. He scored his second touchdown in the 54th minute, Widnes' other tries coming from Andy Ireland and Steve McCurrie.

Castleford extended their unbeaten league run to four matches with a dramatic 16-13 win over fellow top-four contenders Halifax. Having surrendered a 10-point lead to trail 13-10 with just minutes remaining, the Castleford stand-off, Tony Kemp, beat four men on a run to touch down at the corner to secure victory in the 78th minute.

Featherstone capped a miserable seven days for troubled Doncaster as a late try from their New Zealand centre, Brett Rodger, earned the visitors a valuable 19-22 win at Tattersfield and drove the Dons deeper in the relegation mire.

Doncaster, whose proposed merger with Sheffield Eagles fell through for the second time last week, saw the lead carved out by Alex Green's kicking nullified when Rodger collected a long pass and sprinted through to touch down in the corner five minutes from time.