THREE wins in four games have seen Dewsbury Celtic go from almost relegation certainties to favourites to stay up with a game remaining in Division One, after they defeated Milford 32-10.
They now sit joint on 13 points with Milford Marlins and Eccles as the fight to avoid the drop heats up going into the final weekend of the season.
After James Coates’ try just after the interval brought Milford back within a score of Dewsbury, three unanswered tries from the home side gave them a huge victory.
Celtic had led at half-time through tries from Josh Thorneycroft and Tom Halloran, plus three goals from winger Halloran.
Steve Bacon crossed in the corner on 15 minutes to keep the Marlins in the game, and Ryan Oxtoby’s conversion of Coates’ try put the game in the balance.
But tries from Harry Nicholas, Mike Foulstone and Danny Crabtree, plus three further goals from Halloran, gave Dewsbury victory.
Celtic must now travel to Hull to take on third-placed Myton Warriors, where a win would all but assure their Division One survival.
However, wins for Eccles (at York Acorn) and Milford, who host Saddleworth, paired with a Green and Whites loss could see the Crow Nest Park side relegated.
The bottom three clubs at the end of the Division One season will drop down to Division Two.
SHAW CROSS SHARKS’ unbeaten run came to an end with a 34-26 loss at league leaders Oulton Raiders on Saturday.
Danny Stanley’s 18-point haul aided Oulton Raiders to a vital win over the Sharks at Raider Park.
Stand-off Stanley was in outstanding form, scoring two tries and converting five as Oulton took another step towards finishing top of the pile in Division One.
Chris Williams also scored a brace for the Raiders, whilst Rob Stanley and Lee Gomersall made up the scorers for the home side in a hard fought match that could have gone either way. It took Stanley’s second try of the game, shortly followed by Gomersall’s effort, to put the hosts back in front following a spirited second-half effort from Shaw Cross.
The visitors trailed 24-12 after 53 minutes but fought back thanks to a double from Ryan Chalkley and a second of the afternoon from Ross Roebuck, which put them 26-24 ahead late on.
But Oulton were in title winning form, and picked up their ninth consecutive victory, whilst the Sharks’ six-match unbeaten run came to an end.
Shaw Cross complete their league campaign with a home tie against second-placed Rochdale Mayfield – with the Leeds Road side hoping to cement their place in the end-of-season play-offs.