Rams survive scare before sealing Challenge Cup win over Thatto Heath

Andy Gabriel opened the scoring for Dewsbury Rams as they overcame a brace effort from amateurs Thatto Heath to reach the Challenge Cup sixth round.
Andy Gabriel opened the scoring for Dewsbury Rams as they overcame a brace effort from amateurs Thatto Heath to reach the Challenge Cup sixth round.

Dewsbury Rams survived a scare before securing a safe passage into the Coral Challenge Cup fifth round with a 36-10 victory over plucky St Helens Amateurs Thatto Heath Crusaders last Sunday.

A 1,000 strong crowd turned up hoping, while the BBC Sport website broadcast a live stream of the game in the hope of witnessing Crusaders pulling a giantkilling act.

That looked a possibility at half-time as the sides were locked at 10-10 before Dewsbury took control after the break to score 26 unanswered points and safely book a spot in the last 16.

Dewsbury made an excellent start as they led after just three minutes when full-back Andy Gabriel capitalised on a Thatto Heath knock on to scoop up the ball and go over for an unconverted try.

Thatto Heath thwarted further Dewsbury attacks had their supporters celebrating as they levelled after 15 minutes as Connor Dwyer broke from acting half-back and produced a neat kick for Matty Norton to score in the corner.

Dewsbury restored their lead when winger Rob Worrincy received the ball and scored on the right with Liam Finn landing the conversion on his 450th career appearance.

Thatto Heath again responded as they forced a repeat set and Mike Stark beat off the attention of four Rams defenders to score, with Bobbie Goulding converting.

The Rams had to be alert to thwart further Thatto Heath pressure as they went into the break level at 10-10.

Dewsbury nerves were eased at the start of the second half as they scored a third try inside the first minute as centre Lucas Walshaw celebrated making his 100th Rams appearance by scooping up a loose ball to score in the corner and Finn added a fine conversion.

The Rams had a two-try cushion in the 53rd minute as Sammy Kibula showed power and strength to barge his way over for a try between the posts and Finn converted.

Jode Sheriffe set up another Rams attack which saw play moved wide and Adam Ryder held off a strong challenge from Ben Heyes to score, with Finn’s conversion giving the Rams breathing space at 28-10.

Dewsbury marked their second half dominance with two further tries in the closing stages as they capitalised on a tiring home defence with Tom Garrett skipping through and over for the Rams sixth try.

There were worrying scenes as Dewsbury winger Cameron Leeming and Thatto Heath full-back Heyes involved in a nasty clash of heads which resulted in a lengthy hold up as both required treatment.

Leeming was taken to hospital for checks but later released and allowed home.

There was further cause for concern when a supporter was taken ill and the remainder of the match was played out in a quiet atmosphere, with Sheriffe offloading for Robbie Ward to race away to score to complete the win.