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7th February 2020, 15:42 | ChallengeCup

Coral Challenge Cup Round Three Preview

Coral Challenge Cup Round Three Preview

League 1 sides enter the competition

We take another step on the Road to Wembley this weekend as 11 League 1 clubs join the Coral Challenge Cup alongside 11 amateur and representative sides who have progressed through the opening two rounds in January. 

The only representative side left in the competition are the British Army and they welcome National Conference League Division One side Ince Rose Bridge to Aldershot on Saturday afternoon, live on Our League. 

A victory for the British Army would see them progress to Round Four for the first time in their history meaning they could potentially be pitted against a Championship side. As for Ince, this is the first time they have competed in the competition since 2013 and have already earned impressive wins over East Hull and Milford on route to Round Three.

The television line-up begins at 12:30pm on Saturday afternoon as BBC Online will be showing Rochdale Mayfield v North Wales Crusaders. The Crusaders were the victims of a cup upset in 2019 as amateur side Thatto Heath knocked the Welsh club out of the Coral Challenge Cup. Rochdale Mayfield – who have overcome London Chargers and GB Police so far in the competition – will be looking for a repeat of Thatto’s performance last year.

There are four other ties this weekend which will see semi-professional and amateur teams come head-to-head. West Wales Raiders – who earned their first full-time victory in 2019 – host the NCL Premier Division’s Underbank Rangers who are featuring in Round Three of the competition for the first time in their 135-year history.

Cumbrian side Workington Town – who won the competition in 1952 - face West Bowling while 1922 winners Rochdale Hornets host York Acorn. Bradford-based West Bowling overcame Midlands Rugby League Champions Sherwood Wolf Hunt in Round Two live on Our League while Acorn progressed following a 34-14 victory over Barrow Island.

Thornhill Trojans face a tough test to make Round Four as they will face off League 1 promotion hopefuls Doncaster who memorably made Round Six of the competition in 2019 before being knocked out by Catalans Dragons. The Trojans were one of the big winners in Round Two with a 58-14 defeat of Normanton Knights.

The lowest-ranked side remaining in the tournament are Doncaster-based club Bentley who are the current Yorkshire Men’s League champions. Bentley will need to beat NCL Division One side Leigh Miners Rangers if they are to equal the heroics of Haydock back in 2017 becoming the lowest-ranked sides to ever make the 4th Round of the competition. 

Barrow Raiders will face London Skolars in another Our League offering on Sunday afternoon with the Raiders having won the competition back in 1955. Other all-League 1 ties include Hunslet v Coventry Bears and Keighley Cougars v Newcastle Thunder. 

Elsewhere, another amateur side is guaranteed to make Round Four as two of the most successful community clubs – Siddal and West Hull – battle it out.

Fixtures in full:

Saturday 8 February 

Rochdale Mayfield v North Wales Crusaders (12:30pm) – LIVE on BBC Online

Thornhill Trojans v Doncaster RLFC (2pm)

Siddal v West Hull (2pm)

British Army v Ince Rose Bridge (2:15pm) – LIVE on Our League

Leigh Miners Rangers v Bentley (2:30pm)

Sunday 9 February 

West Wales Raiders v Underbank Rangers (2pm)

Workington Town v West Bowling (2pm)

Rochdale Hornets v York Acorn (3pm)

Barrow Raiders v London Skolars (3pm) – LIVE on Our League

Hunslet RLFC v Coventry Bears (3pm)

Keighley Cougars v Newcastle Thunder (3pm)