Skirlaugh too strong for Haydock
Skirlaugh and Myton Warriors made progress into Round 2 of the BARLA National Cup - the former with a comfortable victory over last season's runners-up Haydock and the latter courtesy of a bye after Moldgreen pulled out of the fixture. They will be joined in the draw by West Hull, whose trip to Aspatria was cancelled because of a frozen pitch, and Lambwath Lions, whose home fixture with Hunslet Club Parkside also fell foul of the weather.
Skirlaugh looked to have a tough task against Haydock, runners-up to West Hull in last year's Final, especially as the visitors had come through the First Round of the Challenge Cup last week with an away victory at Shaw Cross Sharks. However, they arrived with just two substitutes and only occasionally looked like breaking a resolute home defence on a perfectly playable Eastside pitch.
Skirlaugh were quickly out of the blocks, aided by indiscipline in the Haydock ranks, and prop Chris Smith took advantage when storming over the line for a try which Harvey Gotts converted. It was all Skirlaugh at this point but in a rare attack the St Helens-based outfit posted a four-pointer when the home defence fell asleep.
Natty Slater, back from a spell with Doncaster, scored a trademark try halfway through the first period and with Gotts again adding the extras the scoreline was looking a little more realistic though there was no further additions before the oranges.
Former Skirlaugh youngster James Haynes, who had been playing in the professional ranks, returned to lead the team around the field and he was influential when Wes Newton, a fine acquisition from Myton Warriors, crossed for another converted score and that looked to be game over but a long-range interception with the extras added suddenly put a different complexion on the game. However, a scrambled try for Skirlaugh on the hooter made the final score 24-10 and the next round beckons.
Scott Mountain had his usual strong game up front, aided and abetted by Kane Larvin, though it was Skirlaugh's very strong defence that won the day and they will be hoping to make further progress in the competition.