WIGAN St Patrick’s have earned a clash with Kingstone Press Championship heavyweights Leigh Centurions in the next round of the Challenge Cup.
Tuesday night’s draw at the University of Gloucester’s Park campus in Cheltenham saw the 23 Championship clubs enter the fray along with the 11 winners of round two, which included the Clarington park outfit.
The draw was conducted by Maxine Melling, the Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Gloucestershire, and Gloucestershire Echo editor Kevan Blackadder and the draw arguably eclipses Ince Rose Bridge’s tie with Hemel Stags at this stage last year due to its local spice and Leigh’s position at the top of the Championship.
St Patrick’s won their second round Challenge Cup tie at Rochdale Mayfield 36-28 and now go into the next round draw with the professional clubs.
This was a remarkable match in which St Pat’s ran up a 24-0 lead in the first 14 minutes and looked on course for a big win.
But Mayfield got their act together to put up a fight which made St Pat’s work for their place in the next round.
They were actually first on the attack, but the visitors withstood the pressure and Marlon Alker turned defence into attack with a long break which found Ryan Smith on hand to touch down.
Alker was also involved in the next two tries. From acting half back he fed Keiron Harrison, who scored from close range. Mayfield were very slow to respond to his kick and James Noon was given plenty of time to touch down. Some smart passing was finished off by Tom Atherton.
Brad Smith converted all four tries.
Mayfield came back into the game straight away by recovering their own kick-off and scoring a quick try through Todd O’Brien, converted by Lewis Sheridan.
With Sheridan, his half back partner Sam Butterworth and centre Matt Calland catching the eye, Mayfield settled down to play some competent football. Brad Smith landed a penalty but Mayfield scored the last points of the half. Full-back Jack Sampson kicked ahead and scooped up the ball to touch down, Sheridan converting to make it 26-12 at the break.
They were on the scoreboard again within a couple of minutes of the re-start. Left wing Rob Kershaw set up position with a 50-yard run and Sampson scored from a two-man overlap. The visitors re-asserted themselves on the hour when Ryan Smith shot through for a try to round off a passing movement and Brad Smith converted.
Nine minutes later Sheridan jinked through for a try which he also converted.
With five minutes left on the clock Ryan Smith wrong-footed the home defence and slipped the ball to scorer Phil Mitchell a couple of yards from the line. Mayfield had the last say practically on the final whistle when Callum Marriott crashed through a couple of tackles for a score converted by Sheridan.
St Pat’s begin their league programme on Saturday with a visit to St Jude’s - kick-off 2.30pm. St Pat’s second team also visited Mayfield, running out 22-8 winners. Tries were scored by Jon Padgett, Luke Taylor, Brett Whitehead and Mark Bayman. Danny Pyke landed four goals.
Challenge Cup Round Three draw
to be played on the weekend of March 15-16:
Milford v Barrow, Rochdale v Gloucestershire All Golds, Keighley v Wath Brow, Dewsbury v West Hull, Sheffield Eagles v East Leeds, British Army v Doncaster, Hull Dockers v Halifax, Batley v Kells, South Wales Scorpions v Hemel, Normanton v Workington, York v Whitehaven, Swinton v Gateshead, Egremont v Oldham, Hunslet v Oxford, North Wales Crusaders v Pilkington Recs, Wigan St Patrick’s v Leigh.
In an entertaining game of rugby St Cuthbert’s secured a narrow 26-20 win over Hindley to book their place in the Winter League Final against Dalton.
Hindley led 18-4 at the break with tries through Chris Scarborough , Josh Donaghue and Paul Hersnip.
But St Cuthbert’s hit back to lead 20-18 with second-half scores from Adam Hunt, 2, David Fairhurst and Danny Rushton, as well three conversions from Craig Sharrock.
Stephen Sutcliffe drew matters level with a penalty in front of the sticks with five mins remaining
St Cuthbert’s final try was a fantastic 50-metre effort.
With the last set of six on the Cuthbert’s line the home side held firm with great defence.
Wigan Bulldogs won their North West Men’s League clash with Langworthy Reds 32-16. The Division Three side face Little Hulton Reds next week, with Orrell St james facing a trip to Burtonwood Bridge as they start life in a higher division.
Wigan St Jude’s A travel to St Helens Wild Boars in Division One with Wigan Spring view hosting Irlam Hornets.
In the top flight Ashton Bears are away at Widnes West Bank with Shevington Sharks playing nearby at Halton Farnworth Hornets.
In Division Four Blackpool Scorpions host New Springs Lions.