Stanley Rangers were among five teams to progress from the Carnegie Challenge Cup preliminary round, courtesy of a 21-20 victory over Shaw Cross Sharks.
The Sharks opened the scoring with a try from Danny Smith, only for Rangers to establish a 20-4 lead with tries from Dave Foster (2), Grareth Whitehead and Danny Grice.
Shaw Cross rallied to draw level, tries coming from Pat Foulstone, Chris Proctor and Andrew Fawkes, but Kevin King’s drop goal edged Stanley ahead and into the first round.
British Police had to overcome a second-half comeback from St Albans Centurions: the Police led 28-0 at the half-time interval, but in the second period the Centurions pulled the score back to 28-16.
However, the Police held firm, eventually posting a 32-22 win over the RLC Southern Premier side to book their place in the first round.
It was a close-run thing at Ovenden, where the home side – second from bottom in NCL Division Two – suffered a 28-26 defeat to Rochdale Mayfield, currently third placed in Division One.
Egremont also progressed, thanks to a 12-8 win over Millom in an all-Cumbrian clash, while Eccles – placed bottom in NCL Division One – beat sixth-placed Castleford Panthers 26-6.
There are four preliminary round ties to be played next weekend, including the rearrangement of the postponed tie between Oulton Raiders and Normanton Knights.
Carnegie Challenge Cup – Preliminary Round
Saturday 8th January:
Eccles 26-6 Castleford Panthers
Millom 8-12 Egremont Rangers
Oulton Raiders P-P Normanton Knights
Ovenden 26-28 Rochdale Mayfield
Shaw Cross Sharks 20-21 Stanley Rangers
Sunday 9th January:
St Albans Centurions 22-32 British Police
Saturday 15 January:
Bank Quay Bulls v. Seaton Rangers
Oulton Raiders v. Normanton Knights
Loughborough University v. Featherstone Lions
Northampton RL v. Gloucestershire University