Lock Lane and Featherstone Lions march into second round of Coral Challenge Cup

Lock Lane try scorer Lewis Price.
Lock Lane try scorer Lewis Price.

Lock Lane overcame a potential banana skin tie as they came out on top 16-10 against Longhorns to go into the second round of the Coral Challenge Cup.

The Irish outfit, from Limerick, came close to pulling off a big upset in windy conditions, but NCL Premier outfit Lock Lane prevailed in the end.

The Castleford side mounted a 10-0 lead by the half-hour with tries by Danny Holmes and Craig Duncan, with Nathan Fozzard adding a conversion.

Longhorns, though, went in at the break only 10-6 behind, thanks to a late touchdown for Gareth Gill, which Nathan Coade improved.

Lewis Price nipped over for the hosts within 11 minutes of the resumption, Fozzard again adding the extras.

Duncan, though, was sin-binned on 58 minutes for delaying a restart. The Lane kept the visitors at bay until his return, but the Irishmen were firmly in the contest when Andrew Coade dotted down on 70 minutes.

The home side had to navigate a nervy last eight minutes when Danny Sowerby was yellow-carded for a high tackle, but held on to register a 16-10 win.

Lock Lane have now been drawn out away to Milford Marlins in round two with the tie to take place on February 9 or 10.

Danny Gilbert’s late try ensured a place in the second round of the Coral Challenge Cup for Featherstone Lions, but they were given a real run for their money before coming out 28-16 winners against a young Hunslet Warriors outfit.

Team manager Keith Bell gave teenager Josh Maiden big wraps on his debut along with another debutant Lewis Young who came through from Bob Cunningham’s U18s outfit and look like two for the future for coach Jamie Rooney.

This was not a classic Lions display in their first run out of the season, but once Rooney gets his settled side his team will be wanting to be in the promotion race in the National Conference.

Danny Glassell opened the scoring early on with a try wide out.

Lewis Jackson, Maiden and Scott Glassell did some good cover defence on the flank as Warriors looked for a quick response. The pressure was kept up and Hunslet were rewarded with a converted try as they took advantage of some weak Lions defence.

After Scott Glassell was held up over the line seconds later his crafty chip over the home defence saw Danny Glassell pick up and score, with Rich Frankland’s conversion making it 10-6.

Brendon Gibbins, making a welcome return to the side, set a fine lead down the middle for Lions then Jake Perkins came into the line and his fine pass led to Jackson getting his first try for the club wide out. Frankland landed the touchline goal.

Warriors took advantage of a string of penalties to make Lions pay as they scored their second try, however, and cut the lead to 16-12 at half-time.

Gibbins, Gaz Gale and Jack Ellam all worked hard in defence as Warriors came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half. Ex-Lions player Phil Banks, looked certain to score, but a big hit from Danny Gilbert saw him lose the ball close to Lions’ line.

Silly penalties kept Lions on the defence as the match officials did nothing to help the visitors’ cause.

Liam Jackson hit Warriors’ big back rower with a crunching tackle, which seemed to gee Lions up then a Maiden chip through saw Featherstone regain the ball and Gilbert crashed through four defenders to go over the line for a try converted by Frankland.

Warriors refused to give in and 10 minutes from time they got a try wide out to set up a thrilling finish to the game.

Conner Paver made a superb tackle which saw the home player spill the ball close to Lions’ line.

After a Gale 45-yard run Lions were awarded a kickable penalty, but they took a tap which resulted in Gilbert going over the whitewash for the match winning try five minutes from time, Frankland adding the extras with his fourth conversion to make it 28-16.

Keith Bell and Jamie Rooney would like to thank all the Lions fans for their support at the game on Saturday.

Featherstone Lions now travel to Underbank Rangers in round two of the Coral Challenge Cup with the tie due to take place on the weekend of February 9-10.