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16th June 2017, 12:26 | wheelchair

Wheelchair RL Challenge Cup semi-finals confirmed

Wheelchair RL Challenge Cup semi-finals confirmed

By John Seager

Halifax 58-28 Leyland Warriors

Challenge Cup holders Halifax were made to work for their progress to the final four, as they overcame second-tier Leyland Warriors 58-28.

Halifax and England stars Jack Brown and Wayne Boardman were both in great form for the West Yorkshire side, but the Warriors, who sit top of the WhRL North Development League, put up a stern test on their return to the competition.

Medway Dragons 46-36 North Wales Crusaders

Elsewhere, a dramatic game unfolded in the only all-Premier Division clash, where Medway Dragons beat North Wales Crusaders 46-36 on home turf.

Crusaders opened the scoring with two well-worked tries from Stuart Williams and Harry Jones.

But the Dragons got back into the game with a try each for Martin Lane, Joe Coyd and Adam Barnett, as the game was tied at 16-all at half time.

North Wales dominated the early part of the second half, scoring three tries; two from Harry Jones and another try for Williams, which meant they led by 12 points with just over 15 minutes to play.

But the Dragons rallied behind their captain Joe Coyd, who produced arguably his best-ever Wheelchair RL performance to help the Dragons score four tries, including two for himself, as they edged out their visitors by just ten points.

Leeds Rhinos 96-40 Mersey Storm

Game three of the quarter finals saw Mersey Storm travel across to Yorkshire to face off against last year's runners up, and the only unbeaten Premier Division team in 2017, Leeds Rhinos.

The second-tier Storm enjoyed a remarkable start and took a shock early advantage, opening up a ten point lead through Steven Lever.

But the Rhinos rallied to dominate the first half, with Ewan Cibbens scoring two tries and Jodie Boyd-Ward, Josh Butler and James Simpson all scoring a try each.

Despite the Storm scoring tries through Guy Teare and their captain Paul Craig, two more tries for the Rhinos, from Ryan Richardson and Tom Haliwell, saw them lead by 22 points at halftime.

The second half saw the Rhinos dominate the game from the restart.

They added four more tries with Richardson completing a hat trick and a try each for Tony Godward and Sebastian Bechara, giving the Rhinos a 28-point advantage.

The Rhinos finished off the scoring with a second try for Bechara, Simpson and a fifth try of the game for Richardson, as they progressed through with a 96-40 victory.

Dundee Dragons 58-28 Glasgow Panthers

The final game of the weekend saw an all Scottish affair, with the Glasgow Panthers travelling across to the east side of Scotland to take on the Dundee Dragons.

Dundee were first on the scoreboard with Dundee's Ian McKeen scoring and converting his own try, then converting a first-ever try for David Birtles.

Glasgow were not deterred though and hit back through a Dylan King try converted by Kieran Higgans, followed by a Higgans try and Conversion.

The first half concluded with the match starting to settle down, much due to the positive influence of Scotland captain Graeme Stewart, the half ended with Stewart Squire squeezing in for a try converted by McKeen.

The second half started with a little bit more organisation, with Dundee starting to impose their structure on the match, consolidated with two tries from Stephen Carling, and a first-ever score by Jay Anderson, all converted by McKeen.

Glasgow, with King and Higgans a constant thorn in the Dundee side, hit back again and again with two King tries and Mould kicking into dangerous areas, upsetting the organisation of the Dundee defence.

Dundee continued to make multiple changes with Ronny Robb returning to the match and both Gemma Lumsdaine and Mairi Simms enjoying some game time as the match drew to a close.

But the scoring didn't finish there, as a try for Dundee's Carling and McKeen (2) made sure they closed out the game, winning 58-28.

Semi-final draw

The semi-final draw was made on Tuesday, with Leeds Rhinos drawn at home to Medway Dragons.

Meanwhile Dundee, the lowest-ranked side left in the compettion, travel to face Halifax.

Both semi-finals will be played week-ending July 9.