Doncaster RLFC require one final push to end six-year exile from Championship

Doncaster RLFC hope to produce more play-off heroics when they face Workington Town for a place in the Championship on Sunday (1pm).

Friday, 8th October 2021, 5:47 pm
Updated Saturday, 9th October 2021, 6:08 pm
Liam Johnson celebrates his last gasp try at Keighley in the preliminary final. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX.com

The Dons recorded one of the most memorable wins in their 70-year history by beating Keighley Cougars in last weekend’s incredible preliminary final.

They will travel up to Cumbria buoyed by their sensational 28-26 comeback victory at Cougar Park but hoping they still have enough left in the tank to defeat a strong Town outfit on their own patch.

Tony Miller last guided Doncaster to promotion to the second tier in 2012 with the help of marquee signing Paul Cooke.

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They were relegated from the Championship in 2015 and have been the nearly men of League One ever since, repeatedly falling short in the play-offs.

This is the first time the club has got all the way to the play-off final since 2012 when they completed a league and play-off double by beating Barrow at Warrington.

Richard Horne’s side came from 26-12 down midway through the second half to beat Keighley 28-26 in dramatic fashion on Sunday – thanks to a final play try from Liam Johnson and Jake Sweeting’s last kick conversion.

Chief executive Carl Hall said: “These players are a really special bunch.

“This final game I want them to do it for themselves because they’ve been immense.

“We’ve had some tough times and we’ve all stuck together. The coaching staff have been fantastic.”

He added: “We always planned to get this far. We’ve got there the last three years and we’ve always fell at the semi-final stage.

“We’ve made progression and now it’s a tough ask to go to Workington at the best of times but we’re going there in a final and I know for a fact the boys will give everything they’ve got.

“If we can get up it really puts the club in a great place.”

The Dons finished fifth in the table and have beaten Hunslet, North Wales Crusaders and Keighley to reach the final. In contrast, second-placed Workington had last weekend off after their semi-final win over Keighley.