Wanderers, on the other hand, will experience the elite competition for the first time after dropping just a single point so far – in a draw with Cheltenham – in an outstanding season. Matt Griffiths scored four in the latest win, although there were seven Welsh scorers in all, underlining the all-round strength of this fast-developing side.
City of Manchester and champions Polytechnic both won their first games at Lancaster, also ensuring their progress to the Super 5s one again. Manchester scored nine without reply in the final period in completing a 20-6 victory over Sheffield, which included five goals each for Dan Paddon and Joe O’Regan. There were four goals apiece for Tim Rezelman and Chris Brown (Photo: Trevor Hyde) in Poly’s 15-4 success against Lancaster.
Later, Sheffield went down 9-8 to Polytechnic. It means their clash with Sutton & Cheam tomorrow will decide the fifth qualifying place for the Super 5s. Manchester eased to a second win – 16-1 against Lancaster. Seven of their goals were scored by Eleftherios Chelioudakis.
The bottom three in Division 1 this season will drop to Championship 1 in phase two, where they face the top five from Division 2. Watford will certainly be involved – they stayed top of Division 2 after hammering Caledonia 19-9 in their first game at Bristol today.
The home club, City of Bristol, boosted their chances of finishing in the leading five with two wins - 16-13 against Exeter, then 11-10 against Southampton, thanks to two late goals by Nathan Brown. Portobello defeated Hucknall 12-6, taking charge in the second period with goals by Davide Ingala (2), Ben Scott and Giovanni Giunto.