Lock Lane continued their bid to retain the BARLA Yorkshire Cup as they emerged with a narrow victory over fellow Castleford side Cutsyke Raiders to go into this season’s final.
A thrilling semi-final went Lane’s way 32-24, but not before they were pushed all the way by a gallant Raiders team.
Never behind, home side Lane started well with a try from Corey Southern, after Raiders indiscipline had piggy-backed them up field.
Cutsyke managed to get a foothold in the game with a try by winger Charlie Jones who found an opening out wide as the hosts were caught on the back foot.
A tense half followed as the arm-wrestle of possession made for a cagey first half-hour, but Lane’s ever-dangerous hooker Craig Duncan broke through to score, with Nathan Fozzard adding another conversion to make it 12-4 at the break.
Cutsyke kept in the game and the elusive Jack Lee found an opening as he wrestled his way over from close range. Andy Speake kicked the conversion and added a penalty soon after to level the scores at 12-12.
Returning up field, the holders were quickly back in front with another Fozzard kick.
The pendulum looked to be swinging firmly in favour of the home side when Duncan crossed for his second try, coupled with another from winger Jordan Bull as he showed good feet down the touchline. Fozzard was successful with another touchline conversion.
The Raiders showed their character, however, as they continued to stay in the mix right to the death.
Two tries from Cutsyke’s Aaron Duncan and Kieran Purdy, plus successful conversions by Speake meant for a tense finish.
But with Lane camped on the Raiders line in the closing stages, and the last tackle beckoning, the home side clinched victory as James Cranswick barged over from close range.
Fozzard again kicked the conversion and the holders were through to another county final.
Lock Lane coach Paul Couch heaped praise on his young side.
He said: “We knew how much quality the Cutsyke attack would bring and the local derby meant the game would have a big atmosphere throughout, but I thought we played the percentages very well.
“We kept our composure to the end, resulting in the clever play at the death to seal victory and put us into another final.
“This was coupled with the spirit and promise our young side showed against a strong side full of character.
“This will all stand us in good stead moving forward into the final and indeed for our coming NCL Premier Division campaign next year.”
Lock Lane will now meet Doncaster Toll Bar in the county cup final.