Hunslet in hat for Challenge Cup but Batley are overrun by the Vikings
HUNSLET ARE in the hat for tonight’s Coral Challenge Cup fourth-round draw after overcoming Storm Ciara and gutsy visitors Coventry Bears.
Volunteers helped clear water off the pitch to ensure the tie could go ahead, but the Parksiders were made to work hard before turning an 8-4 interval lead into a 36-4 victory.
Former Leeds Rhinos academy back Kiedan Hartley opened the scoring for Hunslet with a try before team-mate Zach Braham was sin-binned for a challenge on Bears stand-off Brad Sheridan, who took no further part in the tie.
Hayden Freeman responded for Coventry against 12 men, but Hartley’s second try edged Hunslet back in front following Braham’s return.
The hosts took control in the second half as Braham and fellow props Jack Aldous and Jordan Andrade made inroads into Bears’ defence off the back of intelligent approach play by Simon Brown, Dom Brambani, Vila Halafihi and hooker Jack Lee.
Duane Straugheir, Matty Chrimes – who later suffered an ankle injury – and Andrade crossed in the third quarter and Josh Tonks, who sustained a calf injury towards the end, and Lee rounded off the try scoring. Brambani finished with four goals.
Hunslet coach Gary Thornton said: “We’re in the draw and that’s the main thing.
“We were disappointing in the first half, maybe we’d tried to be too expansive, but it was a different story once we played to our strengths.”
Back-to-back tries midway through the first half gave Batley Bulldogs hope of gaining something from their Betfred Championship fixture at Widnes Vikings, but they were beaten 32-12.
Lewis Galbraith and Alistair Leak touched down and Luke Hooley converted both to wipe out Widnes’ 12-0 lead, but the hosts went 16-12 ahead at the break and dominated the second half.
Their try scorers were Jake Spedding (2), Deon Cross, Kenny Baker, Shane Grady and Jack Owens, who also kicked four goals.
National Conference side Thornhill Trojans, meanwhile, were within moments of causing a Coral Challenge Cup shock before Watson Boas’ breakaway try in the final minute snatched a 24-20 win for League One Doncaster at Tetley’s Stadium, Dewsbury.
Trojans’ Casey Johnson was named official man of the match and Tom Gledhill, George Stott and Will Gledhill also had huge games for Trojans who led 14-6 at half-time.
Declan Kaye , Stott and Nick Mitchell – to give them the lead late on – scored Trojans’ tries and Johnson kicked four goals. Aaron Ollett, Kieran Cross and Sam Docherty were Doncaster’s other try scorers, with Jack Logan adding four goals.