ST Patrick’s were convincing enough in a 42-16 away win to Widnes St Marie’s in round One of the Challenge Cup.
St Marie’s were well-organised in attack and had the edge over the visitors for most of the first half.
In the end the superior speed of St Pat’s, exemplified by a spectacular hat-trick from Ryan Smith, which proved decisive.
St Pat’s took an early lead when Charlie Mitchell cut in from the flank and pulled away from a couple of tacklers.
The home team soon hit back when smart handling saw winger Gavin Conroy in at the corner.
They went ahead when second row Adam Prendergast went in from short range and Scott Yates converted. In the 33rd minute St Pat’s eventually asserted themselves when a smart ball from Hatton sent scorer Marlon Alker clean through a gap.
Hatton converted that try and also one that he went on to score himself courtesy of a great break by Smith and a final pass from Alker.
Smith sprinted in for his first after Brad Hargreaves picked up a dropped ball, making it 22-10 at the break.
St Pat’s soon added to their tally when James Noon kept his balance as he held off the tacklers and touched down in the corner .
St Marie’s showed signs of a recovery when a spell of pressure culminated in Adam Prendergast’s second.
Smith completed his hat-trick and with the clock running down Phil Glover touched down.
St Jude’s went out of the rugby league Challenge Cup at the first hurdle at Kells of Cumbria 24-16.
The game was played in atrocious conditions, with a quagmire pitch and a gale force wind driving the rain all game.
The home side struck first when a repeat set of six resulted in them forcing their way over and the kick was good but Jude’s hit back moving the ball wide and Tom Whelan went over in the corner.
Kells stretched the lead on 20 minutes when prolonged pressure on the Jude’s line brought them a well-worked try and they added the extras.
The visitors got back to within two points when a grubber kick through saw Daryl King win the race for the touchdown and Gareth Thomas converted.
Kells scored a scrambled try, hacking the ball on and then just before half-time kicked a penalty to make it 18-10 at the break.
Playing against the wind and up the hill in the second half it was going to tough for Jude’s but they dug in being well led by man-of-the-match Martin Riley.
After a scoreless 30 minutes they managed to cross again from a grubber kick through and Nathan Jones grounded and Daryl King goaled to make it 18-16 with 10 to go.
Both sides went close but it was the hosts whose sealed it when their wingman fielded a kick and stepped through to score.