Five Ties to look out for in the first two rounds of the Challenge Cup

Steven Hughes
Challenge Cup

The draw was made for the Challenge Cup on Tuesday, with community clubs starting the competition in round one, and League One clubs entering in round two.

Both draws have pulled up some potentially interesting ties. Here are some potentially to look out for.

Galway v Pilkington Recs

Irish side Galway Tribesmen managed to draw one of the most famous names in amateur rugby league in the form of Pilkington Recs.

Whilst the Irish champions have been drawn as the home team, the match will take place in St Helens. This is due to the terms of which Galway agreed to when they entered the competition.

Meanwhile, Pilks have a decent history in the Challenge Cup. Back in 2016, they made it to the fourth round. This included a win over League One opposition in the form of London Skolars. Their run was eventually brought to an end by Halifax.

They also had a decent run in 2018, where they reached the third round but were beaten by Coventry. Had they have won that match, they would have faced Widnes, who were in the Super League at the time.

The winners of this tie will face the winners of the tie between Siddal and GB Police.

Lock Lane v Thatto Heath

The only tie between two NCL Premier Division sides, these two will be hoping to kick their 2022 season off in the right way.

Thatto Heath were the champions of the revised NCL season, after beating Cumbrian side Wath Brow in the final at Featherstone.

Meanwhile, Lock Lane reached the quarter finals, before they were beaten by Pilkington Recs.

Back in 2019, Lock Lane finished a respectable eighth in the Premier Division, just a year after they were promoted as runners-up of Division One. They will be looking to kick on.

As for Thatto Heath, they will again want to prove they are the team to beat, after lifting their third title in five years.

Edinburgh v York Acorn

Scottish National League champions Edinburgh have another crack at the Challenge Cup. This time, they face NCL opposition in the form of York Acorn.

In 2019, the Eagles made history as they became the first non-English side to win the North East Men’s League. They beat Jarrow in the final.

In 2020, they were due to play in the Euro XIII. However, the tournament was pushed back to 2022 amid the pandemic.

In 2021, they returned to competitive action in Scotland, and were able to win the Championship. They won all four of their matches, and finished with a points difference of 248.

As for York, they finished third in League G in the revised NCL season. They will be hoping to consolidate their place in the Premier Division after promotion in 2019.

In the Challenge Cup, York reached round three in 2020, where they were beaten by Rochdale Hornets.

Rochdale Mayfield v Wigan St Patricks

Wigan St Pats will make the short trip to Rochdale for their first round match in the Challenge Cup.

Both are big names in the amateur rugby league circles, with both clubs producing plenty of players that have gone on to have professional or semi-professional careers in the sport.

Last year, Mayfield finished second in League C. However, they were beaten by Hunslet Club Parkside in the playoffs, and then Kells in the Shield.

As for the cup, in 2020 they reached round three, but were beaten by League One side North Wales.

As for St Pats, they finished fourth in League B, and did not qualify for the post-season. Back in the 2020 Challenge Cup, they reached round two before being beaten by West Hull.

Hunslet v Keighley (R2)

In one of the only all League One clashes to come from round two, two playoff contenders will go head-to-head in south Leeds.

Hunslet, who finished sixth in 2021, welcome Keighley, who finished just two places above them in League One.

The Cougars were one of only three sides to enter the Challenge Cup back in 2021, but they were beaten by London Broncos in the first round.

As for Hunslet, this will be their first Challenge Cup match since 2020. They were beaten 46-6 by Championship side Featherstone as they enjoyed a run to the fifth round.

Both sides will be hoping to make an early mark in 2022, as they look to return to the Championship.

Read More: Draws made for first two rounds of 2022 Challenge Cup