John Mooney: Challenge Cup Round Up!
West Hull had little difficulty seeing off a determined but ultimately outgunned Longhorns RL in the Ladbroke RL Challenge Cup Round 1 at North Rd on Sunday. The visitors, the first team to play in the city from Northern Ireland, had plenty of pride and passion but indiscipline cost them dearly and they were on the receiving end of a massive penalty count and a 58-10 scoreline. Young winger Danny Ward took the honours for Wests with four tries while Ryan Wilson slotted over conversions from all angles, including two from the touchline. The home side have welcomed back a host of former players and look a very strong outfit with the half-back partnership of former skipper Scott Spaven and Callum Windley, who has been playing in the professional ranks, likely to give NCL Premier teams plenty of problems.
Coach Mark Hewitt has a fine mix of seasoned NCL players and 'home-grown' youngsters available and whoever visits the Community Centre this campaign will need to be at their best. Longhorns arguably scored the two best tries of the game through Simon Deevy and speedy half-back Alan Mcmahon but, with Wests not conceding a penalty until the 62nd minute, they had little possession though played some attractive rugby with the ball in hand. Props Ryan Healy and Gareth Gill tackled above their weight as did centre Casey Dunne but the one lesson they will have learnt is that indiscipline costs too many points.
A superb effort from the University Of Hull saw them beat Hensingham 24-10 at Inglemire Lane on Saturday. Richard Tate's men showed tremendous skill and determination to overcome their Cumbia rivals with half-back Patrick Johnson the catalyst for most of their tries and full-back Nathan Hill scoring an indivual try unlikely to be bettered in any Round 1 match. Tough tackling from the forwards, particularly Dave Kitenge, kept the visitors scoreless in the second-half though everyone played their part in a fine team effort.
Myton Warriors will be joining them in Wednesday's draw after a 22-18 victory at Leigh Miners. The Warriors, who had only 16 fit players after 'flu decimated the squad during the week, came back from a 12-0 deficit to take their place in Round 2. Beverley will also be in the hat though their match at Dewsbury Shaw Cross was postponed but Skirlaugh went down 34-14 at Featherstone Lions. The villagers had some consolation when their Under 18's produced an outstanding effort to beat Eastmoor in the Yorkshire Cup Final at Featherstone.