Dewsbury Rams produced an excellent defensive display despite bowing out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup 54-6 at the hands of Super League neighbours Wakefield Trinity.
The Rams played the entire game with only three substitutes after coach Neil Kelly opted not to risk Shaun Squires, who was carrying a knock.
Despite never threatening to pull off an upset, the Rams only trailed 30-6 after 63 minutes but, as they ran out of steam, Trinity capitalised to run in four quickfire tries and give the final scoreline a flattering look.
Dewsbury had an early chance when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts but Wakefield capitalised on a mistake close to their line as Bill Tupou gathered the ball and raced 75 minutes.
Although he was hauled down, Dewsbury’s scrambling defence were unable to recover and Trinity moved swiftly left for Mason Caton-Brown to score wide out.
Former Ram Liam Finn landed the first of his perfect nine conversions.
Dewsbury’s defence did well to hold Matty Ashurst up over the line but Trinity scored two tackles later when Finn’s neat short pass sent Ashurst over and the scrum-half converted.
Paul Sykes looked to have sent Danny Igbinedion over at the other end but he was pulled back for a forward pass.
Trinity had to wait until the 32nd minute to grab a third try when a penalty took them close and Sam Williams showed great footwork to dance through the defence and dive over wide on the right, with Finn adding the touchline goal.
There was little the Rams could do to defend Wakefield’s fourth try as Williams produced a lovely kick right and Tupou leapt, twisted in the air, gathered one handed and planted the ball down for a terrific try which Finn improved for a 24-0 half-time lead.
Dewsbury signalled their intentions at the start of the second half when Brandon Douglas produced a crunching tackle on Keegan Hirst - one of eight Wakefield players on show who have played dual registration with Dewsbury this season.
Dewsbury had the early impetus and a lovely short pass by Tom Hemingway sent Aaron Brown over for a Rams try, which James Glover converted.
Dewsbury launched another attack soon after and were close to the Trinity line when Joe Arundel stole the ball in a one-on-one tackle and raced to halfway before finding Caton-Brown on his shoulder to send the winger racing to the line and Finn added the simple goal.
Trinity conceded four consecutive penalties and were put on a team warning but they survived the spell of Dewsbury pressure.
They then hit the Rams with a four try blast in the space of 10 minutes.
More excellent defence looked to have kept Wakefield at bay but the pressure eventually told as they moved right and Tupou crashed over for his second try in the corner and Finn landed a towering touchline goal.
Arundel, Kyle Wood, Tupou and Scott Grix then linked in a sweeping long range move which ended with Ashley Gibson scoring in the corner and Finn maintained his 100 per cent record with another superb goal.
Trinity then moved the ball to the opposite wing and Caton-Brown completed his hat-trick, with Finn converting.
With the Rams defence tiring, Caton-Brown raced away from inside his own half and sped over for his 10th try in seven matches, with Finn adding a ninth goal.
Dewsbury battled to the final hooter and ended with huge credit after further last ditch defence prevented more Trinity scores and the Rams now turn their attentions back to fight against relegation from the Kingstone Press Championship.
Dewsbury Rams: Sykes; Morton, Walshaw, Aaron Brown, Glover; Speakman, Fairhurst; Sheriffe, Hemingway, Tonks, Ollett, Igbinedion, Ward. Subs (used): Stringer, Douglas, Foster. (Not used): Squires.
Wakefield Trinity: Grix; Tupou, Gibson, Arundel, Caton-Brown; Williams, Finn; England, Wood, Fifita, Ashurst, Batchelor, Crowther. Subs: Sio, Arona, Hirst, Walker.
Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.