Dewsbury Rams suffered a Challenge Cup upset as they slipped to a 25-18 defeat away to League One side Whitehaven in last Sunday’s fourth round tie.
Rams boss Neil Kelly made a number of changes as Harry Woollard was handed a debut at centre, Danny Ansell partnered returning scrum-half Gareth Moor in the halves, while Jared Simpson moved to full-back in place of Josh Guzdek.
Whitehaven had lost their opening two games in League One and had struggled to beat London Skolars in the last round of the cup but saved their best performance of the season for the visit of Dewsbury.
Whitehaven led after just eight minutes as their forwards drove the home side close to the line before quick hands saw the ball moved left for Jessie Joe Parker to dive over for the opening try which Jordan Burns converted.
Burns also landed a penalty goal soon after before the Rams fought back with a spell of pressure.
Dominic Speakman was held up over the line before Martyn Reilly — given a start at prop — forced his way over for the try.
James Glover was on kicking duties in the absence of Paul Sykes and slotted over the goal.
Whitehaven responded well and grabbed a second try after 21 minutes as loan signing Liam Cooper took them close before player-coach Carl Forster had the strength to force his way over and get the ball down, with Burns adding his third goal.
Things got worse for Dewsbury as Haven added a third try to take a grip on the game.
Dewsbury were in a promising attacking position but Moore’s kick was fielded by Dave Thompson, who raced through a gap and made 70 metres and put his side in a position which allowed Jason Mossop to score and Burns converted for a 20-6 lead.
Dewsbury hit back before half-time as they forced repeat sets which allowed substitute Jack Teanby to race over for their second try and Glover converted, reducing the arrears to eight points.
Impressive centre Parker added to the Rams woes when he crossed for his second try eight minutes after the re-start and Dewsbury were staring at a shock defeat.
Dewsbury hit back with a cracking individual try from Glover as the centre fielded Dion Aiye’s kick but sidestepped the defence and raced away to score between the posts and give himself a simple conversion and the Rams had hope.
Dewsbury looked to have scored a crucial try after 63 minutes when Sam Day over the line only for play to be brought back for a forward pass.
The Rams were given a scare at the other end when Aiye’s kick was just to far for Burns to latch on to.
Dewsbury piled on the pressure in search of an equalising score but were repelled by the Haven defence and Stuart Howarth sealed his side’s win with a 30 metre drop goal three minutes from full-time.