Dublin City Exiles made an impressive return to the Betfred Challenge Cup after a 20-year absence, beating Hammersmith Hills Hoists of the Southern Conference League by 42-8 in Chiswick in one of several eyecatching First Round results.
The Irish club have booked a return trip to England in a fortnight, as the Second Round draw has handed them a trip to Orrell St James, who earned a battling 16-4 win at Distington in Cumbria in the First Round.
There was no progress for the Scottish and Welsh representatives in the First Round, although Edinburgh Eagles competed strongly against Saddleworth Rangers in a tie shown live by BBC Sport before going down 20-30 at the Royal High School, and Rhondda Outlaws claimed a couple of tries as tangible reward for their marathon journey to Hull Dockers, going down 54-10.
But there will be three representatives from the Southern Conference League in the Second Round, after the 2022 Grand Final winners Wests Warriors claimed a significant scalp with a 26-16 win at Skirlaugh, the renowned Hull community club.
Warriors will now have home advantage against their local rivals London Chargers, who beat North Herts Crusaders 32-12 in an all-SCL First Round tie, while Brentwood Eels beat Bedford Tigers 34-24 in their Challenge Cup debut to earn a Second Round tie at home to Wath Brow Hornets – a monster journey for the West Cumbrian club.
Two of the Armed Forces teams in the competition have secured Second Round spots, with the Royal Navy beating Barrow Island 28-16 in Portsmouth to earn a trip to North Wales Crusaders, and the RAF winning 36-24 at Doncaster Toll Bar – they will now host York Acorn.
The British Army were beaten 28-12 in Aldershot by Ashton Bears, who now have a home tie against the semi-professionals of Dewsbury Rams, while Great Britain Police claimed a 20-6 win at Featherstone Lions and now play Westgate Common – who beat Crosfields 36-18.
Ince Rose Bridge won a thrilling local derby at Wigan St Patricks in front of a four-figure crowd and TheSportsman.com cameras, and now have a trip to Workington Town in the Second Round.
Two matches took place on Sunday.
Heworth defeated Oulton Raiders 22-6, meanwhile Myton Warriors made their long trip up to the North East to face Jarrow Vikings a successful one. The Hull based side won defeated the Vikings 40-26 to set up a home clash with Leigh Miners Rangers in the Second Round
Betfred Challenge Cup First Round results:
West Bowling 30 Waterhead Warriors 12
Royal Navy 28 Barrow Island 16
Edinburgh Eagles 20 Saddleworth Rangers 30
Brentwood Eels 34 Bedford Tigers 24
British Army 12 Ashton Bears 28
Fryston Warriors 38 Thornhill Trojans 22
Skirlaugh 16 Wests Warriors 26
Westgate Common 36 Crosfields 16
Distington 4 Orrell St James 16
Doncaster Toll Bar 24 RAF 36
Featherstone Lions 6 Great Britain Police 20
Hull Dockers 54 Rhondda Outlaws 10
Stanningley 38 Milford 4
London Chargers 32 North Herts Crusaders 12
Wigan St Patricks 22 Ince Rose Bridge 30
Hammersmith Hills Hoists 8 Dublin City Exiles 42
Heworth 22 Oulton Raiders 6
Jarrow Vikings 26 Myton Warriors 40
Betfred Challenge Cup updated Second Round draw (ties to be played February 25-26)
Myton Warriors v Leigh Miners Rangers
Wests Warriors v London Chargers
Hull Dockers v Midlands Hurricanes
Ashton Bears v Dewsbury Rams
Fryston Warriors v Stanningley
Workington Town v Ince Rose Bridge
Rochdale Hornets v London Skolars
Orrell St James v Dublin City Exiles
Cornwall v Rochdale Mayfield
Hunslet v Heworth
Siddal v West Hull
Brentwood Eels v Wath Brow Hornets
North Wales Crusaders v Royal Navy
RAF v York Acorn
Lock Lane v West Bowling
GB Police v Westgate Common
Hunslet ARLFC v Pilkington Recs
Doncaster v Oldham
Saddleworth Rangers v Thatto Heath Crusaders