HAYDOCK and WEST HULL will contest the final of the 2018 Xamax BARLA National Cup.
The St Helens outfit and the Green & Golds are in the decider, which will take place at the LD Nutrition Stadium, Post Office Road, Featherstone Rovers on Sunday 6 May, after recording convincing victories in their semi-finals.
Haydock, of the North West Men’s League’s Premier Division, saw off St Helens neighbours THATTO HEATH CRUSADERS – the reigning champions of the Kingstone Press National Conference League – by a stunning 41-14 scoreline to reach the decider for the first time and suggest that West Hull have a tough task ahead of them.
Thatto were rocked by an early onslaught in which Haydock, after withstanding early pressure, had established a 28-0 lead as half-time approached, thanks to tries by stand-off Jordan Gibson (the man of the match), Daniel Lee (twice), and Gary Anderton, with Ste Jones appending the first four of his six goals.
The Crusaders opened their account with a Shaun Quinn try, but the hosts went in at the break 29-4 ahead, courtesy of a Gibson field goal.
Thatto recovered to only 15 points adrift as the game entered the final quarter, thanks to touchdowns for Owen Scholes and former Super League star Paddy Flynn, Quinn improving the second score. But Haydock held their nerve with late tries by Connor Smith and Gibson, Jones adding both conversions.
WEST HULL, who last appeared in the final in 2003, losing 15-14 to Oldham St Anne’s after having beaten Ince Rose Bridge 36-10 twelve months earlier, are back in the limelight courtesy of a 28-6 success over Pennine League bigwigs OVENDEN in which Danny Ward claimed a hat-trick.
There was no score until the 26th minute, when the Halifax outfit nosed ahead with a penalty by WHO, but Wests edged 4-2 in front at the break through Ward’s first try, on 35 minutes.
Ward added his second touchdown five minutes after the resumption, and his third on 57 minutes. And although Ovenden, who are coached by Hull FC star Jake Connor, hit back immediately through substitute Reece Drausz to reduce the arrears to just six points, Wests eased home with a Ryan Wilson penalty on 65 minutes and subsequent tries for Scott Spaven and Nathan Powley, with Wilson adding both conversions and another penalty.
The visitors’ cause wasn’t helped by the sin-binning of Sam Morrow on a general team warning.
Saturday 31 March 2018
XAMAX BARLA NATIONAL CUP
SEMI-FINALS: Haydock 41 Thatto Heath Crusaders 14; West Hull 28 Ovenden 6.