Doncaster Toll Bar take Challenge Cup defeat on the chin

The Challenge Cup trophy. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty ImagesThe Challenge Cup trophy. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images
The Challenge Cup trophy. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images
Doncaster Toll Bar failed to make a winning debut in the Betfred Rugby League Challenge Cup, bowing off the Wembley trail following their first round 36-24 defeat against the RAF in front of a bumper crowd.

Coach Ian Tattersall, whose thoughts will now turn to the start of the Yorkshire League Premier League next month, felt his side could have played better but had no argument with the result.

“They were a good side and the better team on the day,” said Tattersall, who steered Toll Bar to their best-ever season in 2022 during which they won the YML Cup and finished runners-up in three other league and cup competitions.

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“We led 14-12 at the break after playing down the slope. But we weren’t the better side in the first half or at any point in the game to be honest.

“They started the game better and it was against the run of play when (full-back) Curtis Garrity scored the first try.

“They hit back with a couple of converted tries to lead 12-4 but we played with some good shape at times and Mitch Garrity and Adam Wright went over to put us ahead at the break.

“We knew it was going to be tough in the second half and it didn’t help that we lost half-back Tom Holt at half time. As a result we lost our shape and a bit of structure. I also felt that did a few dumb things at times and failed to take advantage of some scoring opportunities.

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“They took the lead again just after the break and went on to lead 24-14. But they never looked like running away with the game and we pegged them back with a couple of tries by prop Jacob Jones, who stood out along with the likes of hooker Mitch Garrity, and we twice got within six points.

“As a coach you are always disappointed to concede tries but they scored a couple of runaway scores in the second half, including one right at the end, where I felt that we didn’t show enough effort in defence.

“We never stopped trying, however, and the lads gave it everything. I just don’t think that we dealt with the physical side of the game all that well. Having said that it was our first game since the first week in October and you could tell that at times. But overall, I thought it was a good game and played in a good spirit.”