For many of the teams entering the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup’s third round fixtures this weekend, stepping out onto the Wembley turf seams very far away. However for six teams the dream is one step closer as they’ve booked themselves a place in the fourth round, with a host of upsets in todays fixtures.
The third round of the Challenge Cup had thrown up some fantastic draws, and the six fixtures that took place today really set the bar for the remaining fixtures of the round, to be played tomorrow (28th February).
Wath Brow Hornets 14-32 Toulouse
French outfit Toulouse visited amateur side Wath Brow Hornets, who had pushed Keighley Cougars close in the iPro Sport Cup last weekend. It was Wath Brow who opened the scoring, before Toulouse hit back with a try. However the Hornets obviously hadn’t read the script as they crossed the line once more to take an 8-4 lead with 22 minutes played. With just under ten minutes till half-time Toulouse took the lead for the first time, before adding another to send the sides into the break with it all to play for at 8-14. The second half saw Toulouse pull away, and despite another score from the home side the french side put themselves into the hat for round four with a 32-14 win.
Rochdale Mayfeild 14-40 Rochdale Hornets
The first of two derbies that round three threw up saw League One side Rochdale Hornets visiting neighbours Rochdale Mayfeild. With a raft of shocks happening around them the Hornets ensured that this result wouldn’t be another. The visitors lead 22-2 at half-time, however two unanswered tries from the hosts to open the second half scoring made for a tense period of the tie as they trailed by just eight points. Unfortunately for Mayfield it wasn’t to be as three tries followed for the visitors, who claimed a fairly convincing 26 point win.
Siddal RL 30-4 Newcastle Thunder
One of the biggest shocks of round three so far saw Newcastle Thunder bow out of the Challenge Cup at their first attempt. The North East side failed to score in the first half as Siddal came up with two tries against their higher league visitors. The second half proved just as good for the hosts, as they opened the scoring to put an impressive 20 points between the two sides. Despite a consolation try for the visitors, Siddal completed a 30 points to 4 victory over their League One opponents. A victory that will be sure to send out a message to their future opposition in round four.
Kells ARLFC 12-6 Hemel Stags
It was a low scoring game as another League One side fell out of the competition at the hands of amateur opposition. The three tries came in the first half as the two sides battled it out for a place in the fourth round. Kells managed to see out the game and complete a fantastic upset against the stags.
Featherstone Lions 37-20 South Wales Scorpions
The hosts opened the scoring with just seven minutes gone, and they didn’t look back as they lead the Welsh side 22-4 at the break. The second half saw the Scorpions hit back notching up 16 points however it proved to be no more than making the score line look a little more respectable as their road to Wembley came to an abrupt halt with defeat to lower league opponents, whilst for Featherstone the dream continues…
Pilkington Recs 13-0 London Skolars
Last but by no means least was another cup upset. In a rarity for rugby league the first half ended with the scores at 0-0. However Pilkington stole all the headlines in the second half as they got 13 points on the board to see off semi-pro opposition and continue their Challenge Cup run.
The remaining round three fixtures will be played tomorrow (Sunday 28th February).