Upton progress but Featherstone Lions and Lock Lane go out of Challenge Cup
Yorkshire Men’s League side Upton kept their dream alive of playing against a professional outfit at a later stage of the competition after breezing through their first round tie in the Coral Challenge Cup.
They accounted for North East champions Jarrow Vikings, running out convincing 30-4 winners.
The hosts, who led 16-0 at the break, closed with tries by Nick Welsh, Rob Iveson, Kyle Nix, Jimmy Mercer and Harley Axe, each of which Steve Beal improved. Aaron Willcocks crossed for Jarrow’s only score.
Upton will now travel to Leigh Miners Rangers in the second round, to be played over the weekend of January 25-26.
Upton thanked sponsors of their tie against Jarrow – Bryan and Penny Mears of Penny’s Big Bites, and Dave and Christine Froggett of Upton Bulk Haulage, together with match ball sponsors Jamie Thiede of 20/20 Joinery, and Jamie and Lisa Moody of SESKU gas.
Featherstone Lions were sent crashing out of the cup at the first round stage by a young well drilled West Bowling outfit who played the hosts off the pitch at certain moments in their 24-12 victory.
At times it was embarrassing for home fans to watch as the National Conference League’s 2019 Division Two champions Bowling looked more like the Premier side than the Lions who are preparing for life in the top flight this year. But take nothing away from the visitors they deserved the win and it was no fluke although it will be seen as something of an upset.
They struck first when a stray pass led to Bowling latching onto the ball and racing 75 yards for the opening try through Danny Gregory, which was converted by Harry Williams.
Mick Wise, who did some terrific tackling for the Lions in the early stages, had a tilt for the home side before Williams came up with another try for Bowling, which he again goaled.
Danny Glassell and teenager Jacob Bryan tried hard to inject some life into the home team’s attack with the former making a fine solo run only to be held just short.
The visitors then scored in the corner after a pinpoint pass led to Kyle Moore going over for his side’s third try.
Williams’ third conversion made it 18-0 and the Lions were left with a mountain to climb at the interval if they were to go through to the next round.
Silly penalties took Bowling almost the length of the field again on the stroke of half-time and it needed a good Wise cover tackle to hold them out.
Bryan and Scott Glassell both went close for Featherstone, but the half ended with the visitors in command.
Lions gave themselves some hope when they got the first score of the second half as Danny Glassell went over for a well earned try and Ian Jackson tagged on the conversion to reduce their arrears to 12 points.
Jake Perkins tried to lift the team further, along with Rich Frankland, who was making a welcome return to the side. Danny Glassell was then held on the line before minutes later Bowling effectively sealed their deserved win as a chip through bounced back off a Lions player for the attacker, Liam Darville, to pick up and score. With Williams goaling, it was 24-6.
To their credit, the hosts still showed spirit as Perkins pulled off a fine try saving tackle.
Danny Glassell again went on a good solo run while Wise had a tilt, but Bowling held firm until the last minute as a Ricky Williams solo break led to him chipping the home full-back for Perkins to follow up and race away for a consolation try that was goaled by Jackson to make the final score 24-12.
In a clash of NCL big guns, Lock Lane went out of the cup at the first round stage as they lost 22-10 to Underbank.
Rangers were 16-6 ahead as the game entered the closing quarter, having registered an Owen Restall brace and a Ryan Maneely effort.
Lane, who had opened with a Nathan Fozzard try and Connor Turner’s conversion, reduced the arrears to six points when Oliver Bloomer raced over for a try.
But Underbank, having withstood intense pressure, sealed victory when Jakob Garside powered over in the last minute, Richard Pogson adding his third goal to complete the scoring.