Last year’s Coral Challenge Cup semi-finalists Halifax fell at the first hurdle in 2020 as they were narrowly beaten thanks to a late Oliver Davies try by current AB Sundecks 1895 Cup holders Sheffield Eagles.
With the game being played at Wakefield Trinity’s Mobile Rocket Stadium, it was the Eagles who were in the ascendancy in the early stages with tries from Davies and Izaac Farrell inside the opening 22 minutes.
However, the sides went into the break level after quickfire tries from Matt Garside and Paul Brearley. Jodie Broughton and Jacob Fairbank crossed either side of Josh Guzdek’s try to give Halifax the lead heading into the final ten minutes.
But it was the Eagles who would earn the narrowest of victories as Davies forced his way over with less than five minutes remaining.
There was also late drama at the LD Nutrition Stadium as Gareth Gale’s try levelled the scores with three minutes remaining before Craig Hall’s successful conversion proved to be the difference between the sides.
The sides went into half-time at 10-10 with Hall and Dean Parata scoring for the Rovers while Luke Cresswell and Connor Terrill notched Barrow’s tries. Jordan Walne’s 72ndminute try looked to have won the game for the Cumbrian outfit, but Featherstone fought back to book their place in the next round.
Newcastle Thunder avoided a repeat of their 2016 meeting with Siddal after surviving an early scare with a 10-30 victory.
The NCL Premier Division side led 10-6 late into the first half but a Sam Blake double before the interval put Thunder in control. A further try from Sam Luckley and brace from Mikey Wood saw Newcastle pull away after Alex Clegg had opened the scoring for Simon Finnigan’s side.
Swinton Lions booked their place in Round Five in comfortable fashion with a 56-0 victory over NCL Premier Division outfit Leigh Miners Rangers.
Mike Butt was the star of the show scoring four tries while Richard Lepori and Will Hope each scored two on a rampant afternoon for the Lions. Sam Grant, Mitch Cox and Frankie Halton were also on the scoresheet.
Sheffield Eagles, Featherstone Rovers, Newcastle Thunder and Swinton Lions join Leigh Centurions in Round Five of the Coral Challenge Cup with seven fixtures to be played tomorrow (Sunday 23 February).
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