Super Skippers – Dainton, Preece and Kear shine

It was all good news for the captains last weekend, with Bethan Dainton, Gary Preece and Elliot Kear all scoring tries as they led their sides to important victories, as Ian Golden and Harry Jones reports…

In the Women’s Challenge Cup, the favourites all won their games. Leeds Rhinos beat Warrington Wolves 70-10 with Dainton scoring a try for Leeds, meaning she and her side are again just one game from Wembley Stadium. Gracie Hobbs made her Huddersfield Giants debut from the bench but couldn’t prevent defeat at St Helens. Ashlea Prescott‘s Featherstone Rovers also suffered defeat, losing at York Valkyrie.

Cardiff Demons lost 44-4 at Wigan Warriors in the group stages and it was the same result last weekend in the quarter-finals with Eleri Michael scoring their only try. Also involved in the game for Cardiff were current Wales squad members Lauren Aitken, Kim Boaler, Katie Carr, Shaunni Davies, Jasmine Gibbons, Chelcey Greasley, Ffion Jenkins, Bridget Jones, Ffion Jones, Sara Jones, Charlie Mundy, Rhi Parker, Amy Price and Brittony Price

Hereford Harriers won the Wheelchair Rugby League Challenge Trophy on Sunday with Gary Preece kicking the winning drop goal in a golden point victory over Edinburgh Giants. In what was a fantastic game that truly deserved to be a full 80-minutes rather than the 20-minute format, tries for Preece and Lee Sargent gave Hereford the lead however a fight-back from the Giants took the game to its sudden death. Both Hereford and Edinburgh qualify for the Wheelchair Challenge Cup quarter-finals for being in the Trophy final.

Hereford made the semi-finals of the Trophy by finishing in second place in their five-team group, only losing to Edinburgh in the group, part of a mammoth 33 matches played in the one venue in Manchester on Sunday. Wales international Phil Davies and Wales head coach Alan Caron also featured for the Harriers. The side’s international experience shone as they defeated Sheffield Eagles in their semi-final.

North Wales Crusaders competed in one of the other groups. They also won three out of four only losing out to Sheffield Eagles in the final game. They fielded just two Wales internationals in Harry Jones and Stephen Halsey, with both playing starring roles, Halsey scoring five tries and kicking nine goals over their four games with Jones scoring two tries.

In the men’s Championship, Elliot Kear scored Batley Bulldogs’ second try as they stormed to a 25-12 win over a Whitehaven side that fielded Will Evans.

The Welsh players starred against at Widnes Vikings with Rhodri Lloyd scored two tries and Matty Fozard one as they beat Halifax Panthers. Mike Butt and Ant Walker also played for Widnes, whilst Connor Davies was in the Halifax line-up.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Caleb Aekins was also on the scoresheet with a try for Featherstone Rovers as they won at Doncaster. Max Clarke helped Barrow Raiders to a win over Dewsbury Rams. A try from Owen Restall for Dewsbury, who also fielded Curtis Davies, wasn’t enough. Chester Butler helped Bradford Bulls to win against Toulouse Olympique XIII and Rhys Williams was in the Swinton Lions side that lost at Sheffield Eagles.

In League 1, North Wales Crusaders lost their one hundred percent record as they fell at Keighley Cougars. Billy Walkley scored a brace of tries for the home side with Owain Abel kicking a goal for Crusaders. Jude Ferreira scored a try for Hunslet as they beat Midlands Hurricanes. George Birch was again a shining light for Newcastle Thunder in their defeat at Rochdale Hornets. Craig Kopczak helped Oldham to a home win over Cornwall, who fielded Matt Ross and Harry Boots

In Australia, Bradman Best scored a try for Newcastle Knights in their home loss to Sydney Roosters. Josh Ralph was also a try scorer, helping St George Illawarra Dragons reserves to a win at Western Suburbs Magpies.