Coral Challenge Cup: Hunslet and Featherstone Rovers book places in fifth-round draw thanks to last-gasp tries

Hunslet’s unbeaten run in 2020 continued thanks to a superb recovery from 18-10 down in a pulsating fourth-round Coral Challenge Cup tie in Wrexham.
Hunslet playmaker, Dominic Brambani. PIC: Ash Allen/SWpix.comHunslet playmaker, Dominic Brambani. PIC: Ash Allen/
Hunslet playmaker, Dominic Brambani. PIC: Ash Allen/

The Parksiders trailed 18-10 midway through the second period but took full advantage of the sin-binning on 64 minutes of North Wales Crusaders centre Earl Hurst for a high tackle to turn the tables.

Dom Brambani got Hunslet back into the frame with a converted try five minutes later. And, with four minutes left on the clock, Anthony `AJ’ Boardman made the most of quick hands to dot down, Brambani landing his third goal. It finished 22-18.

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Hunslet had opened the scoring through full-back Jimmy Watson, only for North Wales to go 12-4 up with – after Boardman had been yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle – tries by Kieran Sherratt and Elliott Jenkins, both improved by Tommy Johnson.

Featherstone match winner, Gareth Gale. PIC: John Cowpland/ /SWpix.comFeatherstone match winner, Gareth Gale. PIC: John Cowpland/ /
Featherstone match winner, Gareth Gale. PIC: John Cowpland/ /

Boardman and Rob Massam then traded tries before the break, leaving North Wales 16-10 ahead at lemons-time, and the Crusaders took a further grip on the contest when Johnson booted a penalty.

But Hunslet, for whom Brambani in particular was outstanding, had the class and persistence to progress.

Featherstone Rovers meanwhile booked their place in the fifth round with an 18-16 victory over Barrow Raiders at the LD Nutrition Stadium.

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In a game where Rovers were far from their best, tries from Craig Hall, Dean Parata and Gareth Gale were enough to overcome a sending off for captain James Lockwood and a resolute Barrow Raiders side.

It was a slow start for James Webster’s men, who conceded in the opening three minutes.

Five minutes later Hall scored his second try of the season, and the full-back converted his own try to give Rovers a two-point lead.

Parata bagged a try against his former club before Connor Terrill dived over for Barrow. Lockwood was sent off for kicking out after a tackle from Shane Toal as the half closed at 10-10. And in the second half, a Hall penalty, Perry Singleton’s sin-binning and a last-minute Gale try on his season’s bow was enough for Rovers to clinch the win.