Rugby League: Undaunted Dewsbury fail to reap their due

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The Independent Online
Dewsbury. . . .6

St Helens. . .20

ST HELENS became the first side to reach the third round of the Regal Trophy last night but most of the credit belonged to their determined Second Division opponents, writes Dave Hadfield.

Only a pair of defensive mistakes in the first half put the Yorkshire side in arrears. Instead of folding after those setbacks, they gave a St Helens side struggling to find their rhythm a thoroughly uncomfortable evening.

Dewsbury were a long way from being overawed by a side who put 54 points past the First Division leaders last week. Their Kenyan winger, Eddie Rombo, had a couple of dangerous runs and David Lyon had to scramble away a clever short kick by Les Holliday.

That encouraging start was undone when Conway had his pass intercepted by Tommy Martyn, who went 40 yards to score unopposed. Paul Loughlin missed the conversion but soon added a penalty for offside.

Dewsbury had their bright and threatening moments again before they were caught out by Phil Veivers' high kick which bounced free for Anthony Sullivan to cross for the second try.

A match littered with penalties gave Dewsbury the chance to open their scoring when Jonathan Neill was caught stealing the ball from Darren Fleary, Conway putting over the easy kick.

A similar award at the other end gave Loughlin his second goal, and three minutes before half-time an inside pass from Shane Cooper put George Mann into all the space he needed to reach the line and make Saints look thoroughly secure. Dewsbury continued to give them rather more trouble than Bradford last Sunday, however, with the hard running of the impressive Fleary causing repeated alarm.

Not as much, though, as the 60- yard dash down the left touchline which brought Dennis Bailey Dewsbury's deserved try just before the hour. Saints' insecurity showed in the way they were happy to accept the insurance of drop goals from Gus O'Donnell and Martyn. That put them out of reach but Dewsbury were still coming at them defiantly until the bitter end.

Dewsbury: Graham; Rombo, Charles, Johnson, Bailey; Delaney, Conway; Worthy (Haigh, 49), Kelly, Cocks (Worthy, 75), Williams (Dickinson, 49), Fleary (Williams, 71), Holliday.

St Helens: Lyon (O'Donnell, h/t); Riley, Martyn, Loughlin, Sullivan; Veivers, Griffiths (Pickavance, 56); Neill, Dwyer, Dammatt, Mann, Pickavance (Joynt, h/t), Cooper.

Referee: N Wood (Keighley).