Challenge Cup: Lock Lane ready to lock horns with Longhorns

Sebastian Sternik

This Sunday, Millom versus Red Star Belgrade isn’t the only international Challenge Cup first round fixture. 

All-Ireland rugby league champions Longhorns will make their way to West Yorkshire ahead of their first-round clash with Lock Lane. 

In the Challenge Cup’s history, no Irish side has ever made the second round and Longhorns will certainly be looking to break that run. 

Making history however, might prove easier said than done as in their path stands a strong Lock Lane side. 

The Castleford outfit have a proud history in the Challenge Cup and often make the third and fourth round of the competition. What’s more, they have recently been promoted into amateur rugby league’s top tier – the NCL Premier Division. 

In 2016 the club saw their last great run in the competition. Lane reached the fourth round only to be eventually knocked out by Championship side Halifax. 

Lock Lane’s head coach Paul Couch said: “We’ve got a really good history in the cup. It’s something that we take really seriously and something that we’re really proud to be in.

“I think we’re prepared pretty well. We’ve had a good post season winning the Yorkshire Cup for second time in a row, which has given an opportunity for some of our young kids to come through.

“I know from what I see on social media that they’re prepared quite well. They’re really up for this occasion and I take my hat off to them really for what they’re doing. Having to raise funds to travel over. I don’t think they are to be taken lightly. I think this could be a good challenge for us.”

Longhorns will be heading over to Leeds on Saturday and will make their way down to Castleford on Sunday morning. Twelve months ago they also competed in the competition but lost out to West Hull.