Monday, 23 September 2013

The Final Countdown No.1

Hornets v Oldham - The Only Show in Town?

Has the elimination of Halifax and Featherstone from the Championship playoffs moved Hornets v Oldham to the top of the bill?

With the winner-takes-all element of what is one of our sport's oldest Derby matches, you might be forgiven for considering the mouthwatering Hornets V Oldham crunch clash to be the real headline act of next week's finals weekend. 

And, with the added frisson of promotion up for grabs, if the A627M El Classico is as tight, taut and heart-stopping as it has been this season it could leave Batley v Sheffield looking like a severe case of 'after the Lord Mayor's show'.

Both Hornets and Oldham have regularly had crowds on a par - and occasionally better - than both Batley and Sheffield this season. And it's certainly conceiveable that supporters from both sides of this venerable fixture could outnumber their Championship counterparts.

When you compare aggregate league meeting attendances between the finalists this season there's very little in it. The two Batley/Sheffield games yielded an aggregate of 1822; the two Hornets/Oldham games yielded 1751. The biggest gate from the four being the 1107 at the televised Hornets v Oldham fixture in September.

Over the season, the Championship Clubs have the edge - but not by much in Batley's case: averaging 784 over the season in comparison with Hornets 630 and Oldham's 689. Sheffield Averaged 942. Batley went over 1,000 twice. OIdham twice and Hornets once. Sheffield edged over the 1,000 mark ten times and maxed at 1253. Hornets top attendance was the 1,107 v Oldham, whose biggest gate was the 1,209 v Crusaders. Though God knows where you put twelve hundred people in Whitebank.

So the potential's there for The A627M El Classico to be the game of the day - on and off the pitch!