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4 days ago
The road to Wembley got one step closer as we reached the Quarter Finals. First up on Thursday night Widnes Vikings claimed their place in the last four, for the first time in eighteen years, with a one-sided 56-6 win over Kingston Press Championship club Keighley Cougars at the Select Security Stadium.
With the West Yorkshire side in the treat of regulation they made no fewer than eleven changes and it took just two minutes for Declan Hulme to give the hosts the lead. Tom Gilmore soon added another before skipper Kevin Brown showed good footwork to score try number three after ten minutes.
Brown got his second and then Jack Owens's and Stefan Marsh also got on the scoresheet as Widnes effectively ended any hopes for Keighley by lead 32-0 at the break.
Willie Isa punished a knock-on from the second-half restart to cross but the Cougars got some joy when winger Daley Williams scampered over.
Gilmore went on to score a hat-trick as the Vikings cantered into the last four with a ten try romp.
On Friday night Leeds Rhinos were given a huge mighty scare by Championship leaders Leigh Centurions as they eventually saw them off 25-12 at Headingley.
Leigh came into this one full of confidence as they were the only team in Rugby League with a 100% record as their last defeat coming last September.
Leeds hit the front early on when good work by Stevie Ward led to Ryan Hall going over in the corner.
The Centurions hit back when Tom Spencer took a flat ball from Ryan Brierley and powered his way over the line. Kevin Sinfield put the restart out on the full and Leigh took the lead as Kurt Haggerty's cross-field kick was gathered and offloaded by Liam Kay for Tom Armstrong to finish in the corner.
Just before the break Ward linked up with Liam Sutcliffe to get the Rhinos back on terms at 12-12. At the start of the second half both teams were reduced to 12 men when Jamie Peacock and Matt Sarsfield were sent to the sin bin after a dust up.
Oliver Wilkes should have given the visitors the lead but he dropped the ball with the line wide open. The Centurions kept on their game and with just ten minutes reaming the game was in the balance; however there would some late drama.
On 73 minutes, the Rhinos finally broke Leigh's resistance when Robbie Ward shaped to pass to Sinfield for a drop goal and scampered under the posts. Sinfield kicked the conversion and a drop goal to make it 19-12.
Zak Hardaker then assured a home win when he finished off a break by Peacock to book Leeds place in the Semi-Final draw, but the plaudits must go to Leigh who never gave in.
Next up on Saturday saw the tie of the round as Castleford Tigers dumped current Cup holders Wigan Warriors out of the competition with a well deserved 16-4 win at the D.W. Stadium.
The Warriors had not lost a home Challenge Cup tie since 1986; ironically it was Castleford who achieved this as they went on to lift the big prize at Wembley.
With heavy thunderstorms and a downpour before kick-off made handling difficult as the game turns into a scrappy affair. Luke Dorn had a try disallowed by the video referee for the slightest of obstructions on 28 minutes but two minutes later the Tigers scored the only try of the first half when winger James Clare's touchdown.
The visitors missed several good opportunities as they went into the interval with a narrow 6-0 lead.
After getting a stern word by Coach Shaun Wane, Wigan raised thier game and after building up the pressure it final took twenty minutes for Castleford to crack and Liam Farrell took George Williams' pass to score the all important try. Matty Smith's conversion attempt went wide and this was as close as the Warriors got,
11 minutes from the full time hooter a superb one-handed flick pass by Jake Webster was taken brilliantly by his winger Kirk Dixon-behind him- as he dotted down in the right hand corner to make it 10-4.
With time running out Lee Jewitt went over from dummy half as the Tigers booked thier place in the last four with a brilliant win.
Wigan will not have to wait to get their revenge, with the two teams doing it all again next Friday night in the First Utility Super League.
Bringing the curtain down on Sunday, Warrington Wolves brushed past Bradford Bulls at the Provident Stadium Odsal 46-10.
Richard Myler opened the scoring on 14 minutes for the Wolves but moment's later Bradford hit back as good work by Adrian Purtell got Elliot Kear over in the corner.
Two tries in five minutes gave the Wolves an 18-4 half time lead. The first came from former Bull Ryan Atkins and then Matty Russell went thorugh some poor defence as Chris Bridge kicked his third goal.
In the opening minutes of the second half a stray pass by Bridge led to Bulls left winger Luke George going on a 60-meter run to the line.
Ormsby scored the visitors fourth touchdown as they increased thier lead to 24-10. The game was finally put to bed by the Wolves with a four try burst in ten minutes ended any hopes for Bradford.
Myler forced his way over from close range for his second try of the game and Joel Monaghan added a quickfire brace before loose forward Ben Currie got in on the act, wrapping up the scoring with his side's eighth try.
The only downside for Warrington was the news after the game that hooker Michael Monaghan had torn his calf muscles and faces several weeks on the sideline.
Widnes Vikings 56-6 Keighley Cougars Att: 5,252
Leeds Rhinos 25-12 Leigh Centurions Att: 7,145
Wigan Warriors 4-16 Castleford Tigers Att: 8,736
Bradford Bulls 10-46 Warrington Wolves Att: 5,064
The draw also took place for the Semi-Final
Widnes Vikings V Castleford Tigers
Leeds Rhinos V Warrington Wolves
Ties to be played on August 09/10 at neutral venues to be announced this week.