The quarter-finals of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup took place on Wednesday evening with tight games at Bootham Crescent, the LD Nutrition Stadium and the Totally Wicked Stadium bringing incredible drama.
Live on Our League, York City Knights fell just short at home against Batley Bulldogs with Matt Diskin’s team clinching an extra-time 17-16 victory over their North Yorkshire opponents. On his 100th career appearance, the Knights’ talisman Connor Robinson scored twelve of their points but two breakaway Batley tries – including one from drop-goal hero Louis Jouffrett – put the Bulldogs in control. After an 80th minute Robinson penalty levelled the game up, it was Batley’s Frenchman who struck first in extra-time to take the winners of the first-ever Challenge Cup to within one game of a maiden Wembley appearance.
The LD Nutrition Stadium played host to a South Yorkshire derby where sole Betfred League One representative Doncaster faced Sheffield Eagles in a match the latter would ultimately win 32-28 but only after a stunning late fightback. Despite leading 28-12 with fifteen minutes remaining, the Dons went on to see the Eagles, inspired by half-back Anthony Thackeray, cross four times in the closing stages to seal the win. Thackeray’s winning try with less than twenty seconds remaining on the clock sparked wild celebrations, justifying the competition and demonstrating just how much a potential appearance at the national stadium would mean to the players.
Leigh Centurions also prevailed over a gallant Barrow Raiders team at the Totally Wicked Stadium to seal their place in the semi-finals, a Martyn Ridyard drop-goal securing a 19-18 victory for the Betfred Championship’s third placed team. With the scores tight at 16 apiece heading into the game’s latter stages, Barrow’s Ryan Johnston and Ridyard exchanged penalties before ‘Mr Leigh’ himself sealed the Centurions place in tonight’s semi-final draw.
Unlike the other three ties, Widnes’ victory over Dewsbury was far from tight with Anthony Gelling and Lloyd Roby crossing for hat-tricks in an emphatic 54-6 victory over the Rams at the Halton Stadium. The Vikings, seven-time winners of the Challenge Cup, will be looking to add the maiden AB Sundecks 1895 Cup to their trophy cabinet as they seek their first Wembley outing since 1993.
The final, of course, will follow the Coral Challenge Cup final on Saturday 24th August and, with our excellent ticket package, you will be able to enjoy both matches in the iconic Wembley Stadium from premium seating and with access to a private bar.