Challenge Cup round-up

Leigh Centurions pulled off the shock of the Challenge Cup fifth round with a hard-fought 22-18 win over Salford at the Leigh Sports Village.

In front of a 6,358 crowd, Salford began the game well with Theo Fages going over for a converted try inside 10 minutes, but the visitors lost Michael Dobson mid-way through the first half and failed to find the same fluency thereafter.

Tommy Goulden eventually mustered a response for the hosts, crashing over on 25 minutes before Gregg McNally went in minutes later to make it 12-6. 

However, the impressive Niall Evalds hauled the Reds back into the tie as the minutes ticked down to half time, his score making it 12-all at the end of a pulsating first period.

And Evalds was causing problems soon after the restart, crossing on 45 minutes to put his side in front once more, but the hosts battled back late on with Ryan Brierley’s interception try on 64 minutes bringing the scores level, before Johnny Pownall’s dramatic winner with 13 minutes to play.

Meanwhile in West Yorkshire, James Lowes’ under-strength Bradford Bulls side put in a heroic performance as they fell to an agonizing 50-30 defeat to Hull KR.

The Bulls, hit by injuries in recent weeks, raced into a shock 12-0 lead after 16 minutes following tries from Adam O’Brien and Dale Ferguson. But Josh Mantellato inspired a comeback, scoring on 18 minutes before converting Kris Welham‘s score on the half hour mark.

Albert Kelly added a third on 35 minutes to hand the Super League side an 18-12 advantage at the interval, but the Bulls responded almost immediately after the break, Danny Addy going over on 42 minutes. Greame Horne ensured Rovers retained their advantage with a four-pointer minutes later.

Then Kevin Larroyer and Lee Gaskell traded tries as the hour mark approached before Lucas Walshaw handed the Bulls a shock lead with 18 minutes to play.

However, Mantellato broke Bradford hearts with three tries in just seven minutes and John Boudebza’s score on the hooter added extra gloss to the scoreline.

At Bramall Lane, Hull FC held off a second half fightback to grind out a 34-12 win over Sheffield Eagles

A full-strength FC side took the lead through Mark Minichello on 17 minutes before Mickey Paea went in shortly after. Tom Lineham and Jamie Shaul also crossed in a convincing first half performance as the visitors held a 22-0 lead at the break.

However, the Eagles threatened a comeback in the second half with quickfire tries from Cory Aston and Menzie Yere around the hour mark making it 22-12, offering some hope to the Championship side. 

But FC finally closed out the win late on with tries from Kirk Yeaman and Jordan Rankin in the final ten minutes helping the Hull side join their neighbours in the sixth round draw.

In the only all-Championship tie of the weekend, Dewsbury Rams came out on top 31-16 in a closely contested affair with Hunslet Hawks at the South Leeds Stadium.

The Rams got off to a flying start with Matthew Haggarty scoring his first try for two years to open the scoring on six minutes, but Liam Mackay levelled the scores 12 minutes later.

James Delaney then scored his first try for the Rams on 34 minutes, which Hyde converted, before the former Wakefield man added a penalty goal on the stroke of half time to give the visitors a 14-6 lead at the break.

Jason Crookes and Makali Aizue added further scores for Dewsbury before the hour mark but Luke Briscoe gave the hosts a glimmer of hope with a score on 63 minutes and Charlie Martin but the Hawks within range.

However, after a Hyde drop goal, Aaron Brown made sure of the win with a converted try on the hooter.

Staying in West Yorkshire, Batley ran in nine tries to record a 46-14 win over Swinton at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

Tom Thackray and Shaun Ainscough both scored two tries for the Bulldogs whose other scores came from Wayne Reittie, Brad Day, Jacob Morgan, Alistair Leak and Cain Southernwood, who also kicked five goals.

Chris Rothwell, Stuart Littler and Shaun Robinson scored tries for the Lions with Chris Atkin kicking one goal in a disappointing afternoon for the Manchester side.

In Wales, Ben Blackmore scored a pair of tries as Featherstone eased into the next round of the Cup with a 38-12 victory over North Wales Crusaders.

Reni Maitua, Gareth Moore, Andy Ellis, Will Sharp and Alex Foster were Rovers’ other tryscorers, with Moore kicking five goals.

Jason Dallimore and Tommy Johnson scored tries for Crusaders, who put in a spirited first half performance to trail 16-6 at the break..

Finally, on Friday night, Wakefield ran out 44-16 winners over Halifax at Belle Vue.

Ian Kirke scored a brace on debut with Richard Owen also scoring a double. Danny Washbrook, Craig Hall, Chris Riley and Daniel Smith scored the hosts’ other tries. 

Gareth Potts, Ben Heaton and James Saltonstall responded for Fax but it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats arrested an eight game losing run and seal a place in the last 16.

Results:

Batley 46-14 Swinton

Bradford 30-50 Hull KR

Hunslet 16-31 Dewsbury

Leigh 22-18 Salford

Leigh Miners 14-44 York

North Wales 12-38 Featherstone

Sheffield 12-34 Hull

Wakefield 44-16 Halifax

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