Bentley ARLFC exit Challenge Cup with their heads held high

Bentley ARLFC’s historic Coral Challenge Cup run came to an end in Saturday’s third round tie at National Conference side Leigh Miners Rangers.

By Steve Hossack
Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 6:24 pm
Bentley ARLFC
Bentley ARLFC

But the Yorkshire League champions could hold their heads held high after making the home side work hard for their 20-4 win.

“We played really well and I was really proud of them,” said coach Andy Whitfield. “I thought the score probably flattered them a bit.

“Our pack was superb again and made good ground down the middle and they didn’t get any joy and that’s why they tried to get the ball out wide whenever they could.”

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Cheered on by a big following, Bentley took the lead when former Dons winger Dean Colton got on the end of a clever kick cross-field kick on the last tackle and beat two defenders to score out wide.

“I think that they were shocked by how well we started to be honest,” said Whitfield.

The home side levelled the scores with a well-worked try and then capitalised on Bentley’s failure to deal with a grubber-kick close to the line to lead 8-4.

“We felt at the time, and the video confirmed it, that there had been two knock-ons in the build-up play,” said Whitfield.

“The lads were disappointed at half time to be trailing because of that and the fact that we’d dropped the ball when trying to pick it up just short of the line with no defender in sight and Jack Crasswell was held up over the line. We could have gone in leading 16-8.

“What we hadn’t done particularly well in the first half was our last-tackle kicks and we spoke at half time about that and how important the next try would be.”

Rangers made it 14-4 and completed the scoring when their scrum-half dummied his way over from inside the Bentley 20.

The Doncaster club’s next fixture will be at the end of next month when they start their bid for a hat trick of Yorkshire League Premier Division titles.

“We have to win the title to be involved in next season’s Challenge Cup again,” said Whitfield. “We’ll cut the training down to one night for the next couple of weeks and then get back into it.”