WEST Bowling boss Ryan Hunkin is looking forward to a return to league action after a valiant effort in Coral Challenge Cup Third Round.

The Bradford outfit faced tough opposition in Betfred League One early front-runners Hunslet, in what was a short trip across the border to Leeds for the tie.

Bowling fought hard against a side who have a perfect record in the league so far, but were eventually defeated 56-10.

Hunkin said he was proud of his team's efforts in the game and competition.

He added: "I thought the first 40 minutes, to go in at 20 points to 10 down, and to take the lead, our focus was really good, probably the best build-up we’ve had to any match.

"We didn’t really suffer from any nerves, they fed the energy and I’m just really proud of everyone’s efforts.

"We gave it a good dig, but unfortunately they were just a bit more clinical and had a bit more power and pace about them."

The loss sees Bowling drop out of the Challenge Cup just before round four which sees Championship sides enter the fray

But, Hunkin admits he's just happy to get back to playing in the league again, with an away tie at Wigan St Judes coming up next for Bowling.

He said: "I’m not going to lie, last week was a bit of a drain on me. I had a lot of decisions to make with personnel playing and not playing and stuff like that.

"Then with all the media around it and just all the different bits around the Challenge Cup week last week was draining.

"I want to get back into the nitty gritty, week-in-week out, of the competition that we’re in now."

Bowling sit third in the Kingston Press National Conference League Division Two table, despite only playing one game, with most of their competitors having played two.

Their position comes thanks to an impressive opening day 72-0 win, and a strong showing in the cup provides a marker for the rest of the season.

Hunkin said: "I just think Saturday sort of opened their eyes to what they’re probably capable of.

"They’re a capable bunch of players who are probably playing at a level that’s below them.

"We want to be getting into the Premier Division, end of, that’s where we want to be as a club.

"We have to perform like we did against Hunslet to get there and that was the talk afterwards.

"It’s no good having a great game against Hunslet in the Challenge Cup and then not doing it Saturday. We’ve got to back it up and we’ve got to perform.

"They were focused straight away. They enjoyed their night Saturday as we all did, but their focus turned straight away to Wigan St Judes.

“They’re a great bunch of kids and they don’t take much motivating.”