A young Doncaster Toll Bar side lost 16-12 at West Bank Bears in the first round of the National Cup.
A shock appeared to be on the cards when Toll Bar, with an average age of just 21, more than matched their experienced and physical rivals and opened up a 12-0 lead.
However, the Widnes-based home side fought back to earn their place in the next round.
Impressive Toll Bar skipper Alex Palmer led his chargers brilliantly – setting a fine example in both attack and defence – and set the wheels in motion for the first Toll Bar try, busting down the middle and drawing in a number of West Bank defenders.
Palmer was hauled down just short of the line but, with the Bears’ defence scattered, lively hooker Mitch Garrity darted over from short range from the play the ball. Stand off Kieron Lawton tagged on the two points.
More great work from the forwards resulted in a carbon copy second try for the quick-thinking Garrity, who again scooted over from close range to give the young side an early 12–0 advantage. Seventeen-year-old Lawton added the extras.
As the game progressed the home side began to get on top and took territorial advantage.
The Widnes side’s defenced toughened up considerably and Toll Bar found it difficult to break out of their own half.
Despite some valiant defence the Bears crashed over in the corner to make it 12-6 at half time.
Toll Bar made a lively start to the second half with Maule and Jones impressing in the middle of the park.
But the Doncaster club were not able to add to their advantage and it was West Bank who scored with a converted try on 55 minutes.
Toll Bar rallied during an action-packed final quarter.
But a number of injuries caused a reshuffle in the Doncaster pack and with four minutes to go the home side crossed for an unconverted try to secure the victory.