Bears bow out in Challenge Cup
Scoreline flatters opponents as Bears knocked out of the Cup
Doncaster 38 Coventry Bears 16,
Rugby League Challenge Cup
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
The final score does not give justice to a very close and evenly matched contest where the teams were separated by just four points at half time and still just 6 points with ten minutes to go.
It was the Bears who kicked off under the Docasterfloodlights and they were soon on the offensive.
And it was Kadeem Williams who opened the scoring, making it 0-4 for the visitors after Kieran Sherratt had caused problems for the Dons’ defence with a well placed kick. The two points did not materialise, and this was to be a problem throughout the game.
Midway through the half, the Bears were over the line againe, this time courtesy of Elliot Hall, who was on the end of a flowing move involving Conroy, Barratt and Pearce –Paul.
The Dons were next to score and a successful conversion narrowed the gap to two points with the score at 6-8.
With just six minutes to go until half time, the Dons took the lead with their second try, and most importantly their second conversion, and the score was to remain at 12 -8 as the half time hooter sounded.
So, a good solid performance against probably the strongest side in this round of the competition, could the Bears keep this up and maybe grab a place for themselves in the next round?
Some nifty play following a free kick set KadeemWilliams over for his second try, but the lack of a successful conversion meant it was all square at 12-12, despite the Bears having scored more tries.
The Bears were determined to regain the lead and almost did so but Will Tully was held up over the line.
The tide then begin to turn as the Dons crossed over the line to take the lead.
The Bears conceded again, but were in no mood to give up as Dan Gover powered over the line to put the score at 22-16 with just ten minutes remaining..
But that proved to be as good ad it was to get as the Dons turned on the pressure and gained a further 16 points with a three try and two conversions blitz to send them into the next round of the Cup.
But looking at the positives this had been a strong Bears performance against a side emerging as the strongest in League 1, and they can look forward to next Sunday’s home game against Workington with confidence.
Tom Tsang commented post match:
“Despite the loss there are huge positives to take from our performance. We demanded a reaction from last week and the players really turned up and gave it everything.
The scoreline really doesn't show how close the game was - at 60 minutes it was still in the balance. Unfortunately, we picked up 6 injuries in the game, 4 of them inside the first 55 minutes, meaning we had no healthy players available and we weren't able to make any substitutions after this point. Had this been different I genuinely believe we could have got the result we wanted.
We gave debuts to Euan Tiernan and Callum Merrett who both showed they can play at this level. Plus there were a number of other standouts including Kadeem Williams in the centre who improves every week and Kieran Sherratt who has probably been our most consistent player in the first month of games.
Once again we have gone toe to toe with a heavyweight of League 1 and shown we are more than capable.
We will only get better from here”.