A FOURTH win on the bounce for Lee Greenwood’s Dewsbury Rams saw them defeat Whitehaven to move into the fifth round of the Challenge Cup (16-22).
It was a game that could have gone either way on the night and came down to which side were more clinical with ball in hand, but it was the visiting Rams that overcame the difficult wet conditions and the mudbath that was the pitch at the Recreation Ground.
It was the Rams who looked to have struck first after just five minutes as Liam Finn touched down from his own kick but was ruled out for his teammates being offside.
That meant it was the home side who got the opening try through full-back Sam Forrester, who went in underneath the sticks. This was after an Ethan Kelly offload found a returning Dion Aiye, who broke the line and passed inside to Forrester to score a try converted by Jake Moore.
Dewsbury hit back just before the end of the opening quarter as Dom Speakman found some lazy home defence around the markers and dived over from dummy-half. Scrum-half Finn converted to level the scores.
The half-hour mark saw déjà vu as Speakman crossed once again in a carbon copy of his first try, although this time the home fans were shouting for a knock-on as the ball bobbled when Speakman grounded. However, man-in-the-middle Jack Smith gave the try and the Rams led for the first time as Finn added the extras.
The scores were levelled just before the break however, as Haven scored the try of the game. They utilised an overlap on the left-hand side through several pairs of hands, the final being Andrew Bulman who ran past his opposite number and towards the sticks before grounding the ball. Connor Holliday added the conversion.
The second half was a much more cagey affair with neither side wanting to give away the penalty or error which allowed the opposition to grab the winning try. However, the opening points were scored through the boot of Finn after the home side give a penalty away for dissent.
But the home side soon hit back and regained the lead as centre Jason Mossop powered his way over the whitewash, and Holliday converted again.
What followed was a sustained period of pressure from the home side, who were looking to secure their first win of the season. The Cumbrians had a number of repeat sets but they lacked the clinical edge to increase the lead.
They did get over the line as Jessie Joe Parker grounded the ball from a kick in similar fashion to Finn’s disallowed effort, where Parker’s teammates were offside and therefore the try was chalked off.
That was the last of any try-scoring opportunities for the home side as the Rams were allowed to march up the field with a number of penalties and Finn levelled the scores with a penalty goal in the 65th minute.
The game was decided eight minutes from time as Connor Scott put in a powerful run, helped by a number of missed tackles from the home side, to touch down and secure a fifth-round tie against Newcastle Thunder, just over 90 hours after the hooter sounded at the Recreation Ground.