RECENTLY relegated Bradford Dudley Hill suffered a pointless Challenge Cup exit at the weekend, but they remain confident for the season ahead.

The NCL Second Division side came up against former league foes Milford Marlins in the first round.

Leeds-based Marlins took the short trip to Bradford and racked up a 16-0 victory from four first half tries.

Dudley Hill team manager Steve Wright said it was a slow start that led to their downfall coupled with the fact the opposition players wanted to show their worth to new coach, Jamie Benn.

Wright added: "Within 15 minutes we were 10 down and we let a soft try in with a couple of minutes to go before the end of the first half, which anybody can switch off.

"But if it wasn't for the slow start then the second half was scoreless, so the defences were key and I thought we defended really resolutely and superbly after the first little blip. I just think we were a bit too slow out of the blocks."

Wright added that there were plenty of positives to take from the game, particularly the sides defensive qualities in the second half in dire circumstances.

He said: "It was a difficult day for handling and when the rain started coming down it did become a bit of a war of attrition and it showed in the second half because no team could break each other down.

"We just need to sharpen up our attack a little bit more and give ourselves a few more options."

Wright singled out several players for praise, despite the result including back rows, Andy Walker and Alex Dickinson, as well as captain Adam Jefferson who he described as being a "tower of strength" for nearly all of the game.

With the season just around the corner, Wright is feeling confident and thinks any team in their league would have struggled with Milford.