York City Knights opened the revived Yorkshire Cup competition with a 34-4 victory over National Conference champions Hunslet Club Parkside before Dewsbury Rams pipped Championship rivals Featherstone Rovers 20-14.
Rams had home advantage in the second part of the double-header and held off a strong Rovers fightback thanks to a late try.
Tries by Alex Brown and Lucas Walshaw, plus a conversion from Paul Sykes, gave Rams an early lead, but Rovers replied through dual-registered Leeds Rhinos player Josh Walters to make it 10-4 at the break,
Rovers’ defence held Matty Nicholson up over the line at the start of the second period and they should have scored when Sykes misjudged John Davies’ kick, but a knock-on by Kiedan Hartley let the visitors off the hook.
Rams hooker Robbie Ward was sin-binned on 53 minutes and, from the penalty, Rovers moved the ball left and trialist winger James McDaniel dived over at the corner, Jordan Tansey’s touchline goal levelling the scores.
Tansey had a touchdown ruled out for obstruction soon afterwards and Rams regained the lead on the hour when Jordan Andrade crashed through, Sykes kicking his second conversion.
Trailist Mcauley Hallett, who played for Rams last year, finished well to cut the gap to two points with five minutes left, but Tansey could not convert from wide out and Tom Halliday’s try three minutes from time completed the scoring.
In the opening game York, who won Betfred League One last year, fielded a strong team, but were made to work hard throughout by the community game’s best side.
Knights led 18-0 at half-time through a brace of tries from Perry Whiteley and a Matty Marsh touchdown, all converted by Connor Robinson.
Brad Hey added a fourth touchdown for James Ford’s men at the start of the second half, but Parkside applied heavy pressure for a spell after that with Adam Biscomb being held up over the line by Matty Marsh and Chris Boyce almost forcing his way through.
York did not add to their tally until 19 minutes from time when Marcus Stock completed a length of the field move.
Hey added his second try with nine minutes left, Robinson failing to convert for the only time, but Parkside grabbed a deserved consolation score two minutes from the end.
Michael Hoyle intercepted a pass and ran 70 metres, only to be chased down by Marsh, but York were penalised and from that Danny Rowse and Callum Wheeler combined to send Kieran Murphy over at the corner.
Eight teams have entered the competition, which is being played over three successive weekends in pre-season.
Batley Bulldogs take on Hunslet and Bradford Bulls face Halifax at Odsal on Sunday in the other first round ties.