The Royal Navy reached the Third Round of the Challenge Cup for the first time in more than a decade with a dramatic 14-10 win against the British Army in Aldershot, as the first ever meeting of the Forces rivals in the competition went to golden point extra time.
The Army, who were aiming to repeat their run to the Fourth Round when non-professional teams last entered the competition in 2020, looked on course when they took a 10-0 lead – only for the Navy to score two late tries from Gavin Duffy and Jonathan Griffiths, with Rhys Joel adding a cool conversion to the latter to bring the scores level.
In the fifth and last minute of the first period of golden point extra time James Tilley, the Navy’s crafty old-school hooker who had already created Griffiths’ try, sent over the Keighley-born youngster Joey Sugden for the winning score.
The Navy have been joined by four community clubs in the Third Round draw, in addition to London Skolars and North Wales Crusaders from Betfred League One.
The Skolars beat their capital rivals London Chargers, a Southern Conference League team based at Clapham Common, 40-22 at the New River Stadium on White Hart Lane – close to the venue of the 2022 Betfred Challenge Cup Final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in May.
Anthony Murray, the North Wales Crusaders coach who was the League One coach of the year in 2021, had a winning return to his former community club Leigh Miners Rangers.
Hunslet Club Parkside beat their Leeds rivals Stanningley 22-12, Siddal won 32-10 at Pilkingtons Recs in St Helens, and York Acorn beat Wests Warriors, the third London club in action, 28-10.
The Third Round draw will be held at Rochdale’s Crown Oil Arena on Tuesday evening and will contain at least one local team, after Rochdale Mayfield held off a late West Hull fightback to win 18-16.
Rochdale Hornets, the town’s professional club who are celebrating the centenary of their only Challenge Cup win in 1922, will aim to join Mayfield when they face the newly-renamed Midlands Hurricanes in the first of Sunday’s five Second Round fixtures – which will be streamed live on BBC Sport from 1pm.
The round will conclude with Oldham facing the Castleford community club Lock Lane at 6pm, with that tie streamed live on the RFL’s Our League web and app.
Betfred Challenge Cup Second Round Results:
British Army 10 Royal Navy 14 (after extra time)
Hunslet Club Parkside 22 Stanningley 12
Leigh Miners Rangers 8 North Wales Crusaders 40
London Skolars 40 London Chargers 22
Pilkington Recs 10 Siddal 32
West Hull 16 Rochdale Mayfield 18
York Acorn 28 Wests Warriors 10
Betfred Challenge Cup Second Round Fixtures:
Sunday 30 January
Doncaster v Thornhill Trojans
Hunslet v Keighley Cougars
Oldham v Lock Lane - live on Our League, 6pm
Rochdale Hornets v Midlands Hurricanes - live on BBC Sport, 1pm
West Wales Raiders v Swinton Lions
Third Round (6 ties) – February 12-13
Fourth Round (10 ties) – February 26-27 – Betfred Championship clubs enter
Fifth Round (5 ties) – March 12-13
Sixth Round (8 ties) – March 26-27 – Betfred Super League clubs enter
Quarter Finals – April 9-10
Semi Finals – Saturday May 7 at Elland Road, Leeds