Doncaster Rovers Belles ease relegation fears with vital win over bottom side Burton Albion

Both Doncaster RLFC and local amateurs Bentley were paired with National Conference Division One sides in Monday night’s Coral Challenge Cup third round draw.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 11:43 am
Andy Butler

The League One title hopefuls were drawn away to Dewsbury-based Thornhill Trojans while the 2019 Yorkshire Men’s League Premier Division champions will travel to meet Leigh Miners Rangers.

“Obviously we would have preferred to have been at home – though it’s not far to travel – but we are happy with the draw because we wanted to avoid being drawn against another League One side,” said Dons assistant coach Pete Green.

“Thornhill play in the top flight of the National Conference and are a well-established and respected club so we won’t be underestimating them.

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“I’m not sure at this stage where the game will be played and they could decide to try and switch it to Dewsbury’s ground.”

Bentley had been hoping for a home draw after successive away games in the competition and had dreamed of a Doncaster derby.

They reached the third round for the first time in their history by beating North West Premier League champions West Bank Bears 20-18 after a dramatic finish.

The home side looked to have won the game when taking a late 18-14 lead but good work by full-back Alex Bates helped set up the try which levelled the scores and former Dons and Sheffield Eagles star Johnny Woodcock won the game when adding the conversion.

*Forward Brad Foster has been named Dons' captain for the 2020 campaign.

The back rower was in fine form throughout last season, his first back at the club, which ended in him winning the Man of Steel trophy at the end of season awards night.

He said: "I am buzzing to be named as captain, it's not something I was expecting but I will give my all to honour the role.

"My work will continue both on and off the field in terms of helping and motivating the players around me.

"The aim is to be the best captain I can possibly be to help the club push for promotion come the end of the year."