Victoria Rangers pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the history of the ACE Insurance BARLA National Cup by posting a 20-18 opening-round win at Pennine League giants Queens.
The Vics, who operate in Division Four – six leagues below their Premier hosts – were expected to be mere cannon fodder on their first excursion into the amateur game’s flagship competition.
But they confounded the doubters with two tries from packman Willy Woodhead, together with a brace of Aiden Scully goals, to reach the halfway mark 12-4 up.
The Rangers tackling was magnificent throughout, with Queens’ frustration spilling over as they had a man sent off and another in the sin-bin.
The outstanding Elliot Hodgson won a kick-and-chase to score in the second half, with Scully adding the extras and then slotting over the decisive penalty when the hosts were penalised for a head-high shot.
Next up is a home tie against Slaithwaite Saracens of the Championship Division on February 8.
Last season’s runners-up Wibsey Warriors coasted through with an 18-6 home win over much-fancied West Hull.
The Warriors, who will be at home to Upton in the next round, won the first-half arm wrestle 6-0 thanks to a try and a goal from scrum half Luke Helliwell.
Forwards Jimmy Waddington and Mark Darragh then posted further touchdowns in the second half, both converted by Helliwell, to put Wibsey on track for another outing in the final.
Queensbury, who were awarded a first-round bye, will be content with a trip to Haydock – and warmed up with a 22-8 Championship Division win at home to Moorends in the Pennine League.
They rolled over the visitors with three tries in the first quarter from Billy Naylor, Liam Ruff and Tom Hainsworth, all converted by man of the match Scott Swann.
The conditions deteriorated considerably from then on and Queensbury could only muster a further score from Joe Walker despite their superiority.
Odsal Sedbergh’s young side lost 26-14 at Sharlston Rovers A in Division One, despite tries from Robert Booth plus Oliver and Robert Priestley.
Veteran Darren Barraclough posted his first touchdown of the season for Wyke A in their 20-14 Division Seven defeat at King Cross Park. Hooker Matt Harrison and Phil Oliver also made the whitewash.
West Bowling A won 24-20 at Selby A in the first round of the Supplementary Cup. Bowling scored five tries through Karl Robinson (2), Lee Hutchinson, Glenn Barraclough and Mark Dove, Max Trueman adding two extras.