LEAGUE LATEST

Monday August 27, 2018
PETERBOROUGH emerged from the Bank Holiday weekend with their six-point lead at the top of the Championship still intact.

The T.Balfe Construction Panthers won at Ipswich on Thursday, which could well prove to be their biggest result of the season, and racing over the next few days was badly affected by the weather.

Lakeside could have taken over at the top with a three-match schedule in three days, but in fact the Hammers took no points with only one meeting completed.

They were rained-off at home to Newcastle on Friday before Saturday’s meeting at Workington was abandoned due to the serious crash involving Dan Bewley. All at the Panthers wish Dan well for his recovery from leg and shoulder injuries.

Lakeside were then beaten 53-37 at Newcastle on Sunday, leaving them with three home matches and tough trips to Edinburgh and back to Workington to complete their campaign.

Panthers, Lakeside and Workington remain the best-placed clubs for finishing in the top three, with the Comets theoretically just ahead – but they still have seven matches remaining, and a postponement at home to Redcar on Sunday didn’t help their fixture situation.

The battle for fourth place at this stage appears to be between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ipswich, with the Monarchs just ahead but with the Witches blasting back into contention with a 59-30 romp at Scunthorpe on Friday.

That result underlines how crucial Panthers’ win at Foxhall was – as had Ipswich won that meeting, they would effectively have been in the box-seat, with Panthers dragged into a dogfight with the Scottish clubs.

Ipswich and Glasgow still have to meet home and away, which could be a crucial pair of fixtures, and Edinburgh also have to visit Glasgow after Sunday’s planned meeting was postponed.

Outsiders for top four finishes at the moment are Berwick and Newcastle, who both effectively need two away wins to join the battle.

That means the Bandits’ trip to the East of England Arena on September 9 could be vital for both teams – and they also have trips to Edinburgh and Ipswich – whilst the Diamonds will attempt to repeat their recent big away win at Sheffield in visits to Glasgow, Lakeside, Redcar and Workington.

There are several key fixtures this weekend as Edinburgh and Workington race home and away on Friday and Saturday; Ipswich take on Scunthorpe on Thursday; and Newcastle must take points from their trips to Redcar and Glasgow on Thursday and Friday to retain their slim chance.

Panthers still await dates for their outstanding away fixtures at Lakeside and Workington.

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