Challenge Cup Third & Fourth Round draw line-ups locked in as 10 community clubs progress

Ben Olawumi
Challenge Cup trophy - Alamy

The Challenge Cup trophy

The teams in the hat for the Challenge Cup Third & Fourth Round draws have now been confirmed, with 10 community clubs booking their place in Round 3 with a win this weekend.

Round 2 saw 10 of the teams from the National Conference League’s Premier Division enter the competition, with last season’s NCL champions Hunslet ARLFC sweeping aside Pennine League outfit Fryston Warriors, 66-0 winners away from home.

However, as per the ‘magic of the cup’, it hasn’t quite been plain sailing for all of the NCL‘s top dogs this weekend.

West Bowling – who were promoted up to the Premier Division in 2023 – were knocked out of the Challenge Cup by Hammersmith Hills Hoists, of the equivalent Southern Conference League, with Chiswick natives Hammersmith running out 32-10 winners on home soil.

Elsewhere, three games were broadcast live. Ashton Golding‘s Stanningley won 19-18 at fellow NCL Division One outfit Leigh Miners Rangers on Saturday afternoon courtesy of a last-minute drop goal from full-back Adam Butterill, with that clash shown live on the BBC iPlayer.

The ‘Forces News’ Facebook page then broadcast the Royal Navy’s 32-24 defeat to Thatto Heath Crusaders down in Portsmouth this afternoon, while ‘The Sportsman’ also showed York Acorn’s 22-12 victory at Orrell St James.

Acorn’s triumph in the North West came after a 55-minute delay to that game after a serious injury to their winger Luke Swales towards the end of the first half. At that stage, the visitors led 6-0 thanks to a try in the very first minute of the tie.

A full run-down of this weekend’s result can be seen below.

Challenge Cup Second Round results

Leigh Miners Rangers 18-19 Stanningley

Clock Face Miners 4-38 Siddal

Doncaster Toll Bar 18-40 West Hull

Fryston Warriors 0-66 Hunslet ALRFC

Hull Dockers 0-40 Wath Brow Hornets

Lock Lane 72-0 Edinburgh Eagles

Wests Warriors 28-22 Rochdale Mayfield

Hammersmith Hills Hoists 32-10 West Bowling

Royal Navy 24-32 Thatto Heath Crusaders

Orrell St James 12-22 York Acorn

Challenge Cup Third & Fourth Round draw line-ups locked in

As confirmed earlier this week, the draws for Rounds 3 & 4 of the Challenge Cup will both take place at 6.30pm (GMT) tomorrow evening (January 29). They will be streamed live on BBC iPlayer as well as the BBC Sport website & app.

Tanya Arnold will host the draws, which take place at Widnes Vikings‘ DCBL Stadium, 40 years on from the Chemics’ most recent triumph in the competition.

1984 saw Widnes beat Wigan Warriors 19-6 in the Challenge Cup final, and Arnold will be joined by three of their heroes from that game – David Hulme, Mike O’Neill and the Lance Todd Trophy winner Joe Lydon.

22 clubs from the Championship & League 1 – including the Vikings – enter the competition in Round 3, with the full list of clubs involved tomorrow night’s two draws now confirmed as follows:

Barrow Raiders (Championship)

Batley Bulldogs (Championship)

Bradford Bulls (Championship)

Cornwall (League 1)

Dewsbury Rams (Championship)

Doncaster (Championship)

Featherstone Rovers (Championship)

Halifax Panthers (Championship)

Hammersmith Hills Hoists (Southern Conference League)

Hunslet (League 1)

Hunslet ALRFC (National Conference League – Premier Division)

Keighley Cougars (League 1)

Lock Lane (National Conference League – Premier Division)

Midlands Hurricanes (League 1)

Newcastle Thunder (League 1)

North Wales Crusaders (League 1)

Oldham (League 1)

Rochdale Hornets (League 1)

Sheffield Eagles (Championship)

Siddal (National Conference League – Premier Division)

Stanningley (National Conference League – Division One)

Swinton Lions (Championship)

Thatto Heath Crusaders (National Conference League – Premier Division)

Wakefield Trinity (Championship)

Wath Brow Hornets (National Conference League – Premier Division)

West Hull (National Conference League – Premier Division)

Wests Warriors (Southern Conference League)

Whitehaven (Championship)

Widnes Vikings (Championship)

Workington Town (League 1)

York (Championship)

York Acorn (National Conference League – Premier Division)

Challenge Cup Third & Fourth Round draws: The format

As you’d expect, the Round 3 draw will tae the shape of ‘X team v X team’, with the examples of ‘Bradford Bulls v Featherstone Rovers‘ and ‘Workington Town v Siddal’.

As the Fourth Round draw is taking place immediately after the one for Round 3, r.e. before the Third Round ties have been played, the Round 4 draw will take on an ‘either/or’ format.

Accordingly, the 32 teams in the hat for the Round 3 draw (16 ties) will all be in it for the Fourth Round draw (eight ties).

Following on from the above, again solely as an example, it would be ‘Bradford Bulls OR Featherstone Rovers vs Workington Town OR Siddal‘ in Round 4 if those two balls got pulled out.

Subsequently, the winners of the Round 3 ties would then meet in Round 4, as usual. Round 3 ties take place over the weekend of February 10 & 11, with the Fourth Round to take place later that month over the weekend of February 24 & 25.

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