The final game of the opening round of the Betfred Challenge Cup 2022 pitted South Yorkshire side Bentley ARLFC against West Yorkshire side Stanningley SARLC as the Yorkshire League side looked to spring a shock on the National Conference League One side and progress to a second-round game against Hunslet Club Parkside.
Despite having to travel it was Stanningley who were the clear favourites to progress but after a beating the British Army in the first round in 2019 and the RAF in 2020, Bentley fancied their chances of springing an upset.
The stalls were set out early for a cracking game when Stanningley scored on their first attack of the game when winger Ben Selby crossed in the corner as he summersaulted over the line, but the conversion was missed from wide, and it took just seven minutes before Bentley were level when Marchant went over in the corner after a nice flowing attacking move.
Bentley hit the front on sixteen with a superb try down the left side as big forward Jordan Seaman fended off the full back to ground in the corner. The conversion was smashed between the uprights from wide for 10-4, the underdogs into a deserved lead.
It was end-to-end until Stanningley got their second tight on the stoke of half-time with Matty Bridgeman-Reaney taking a bullet pass and stepping inside to stretch down and ground despite two tacklers trying to stop him. Harris Davison added the conversion from the touchline to level the scores at 10-10 as the sides headed for the sheds.
Bentley went close on fifty-one and forced back-to-back goal-line drop-outs but it was Stanningley who scored the opening try of the second half when they went down the other end in scoring an eighty metre second try at the hands of Selby but after he was tackled in goal he threw a punch and was sin-binned for his troubles. The goal was slotted between the uprights by Davison for 16-10.
Two minutes later they were in again when Jack Sykes too a short pass to push over from a few metres, Stanningley now bossing the game. Davison pulled his kick across the front of the uprights, Stanningley ten points in the lead.
With ten minutes remaining Bentley had Jake Starbuck sin-binned for afters in the tackle and Stanningley opted to kick the resulting penalty for an unassailable twelve-point lead.
Bentley rounded off the scoring in the dying seconds when Ryan Craswell grounded a grubber kick from his brother Jack, Kieron Lewis adding the extras to reduce the arrears to six points as the final hooter sounded a 22-16 win for Stanningley.
This was a terrific effort from Bentley but in the end Stanningley were too strong, and after riding the first half onslaught, they scored eighteen unanswered points to grasp the game and take the win to progress into the next round.
Bentley: Starbuck (SB on 70), Lewis (G), Hughes, Middleton, Hornsby, I´anson, Marchant (T), Craswell, Bates, Flounders, Pownall, Hall, Richards. Subs: Hill, Bertman, Craswell (T), Seaman (T).
Stanningley: Davison (3G), Vincent, McGuigan, Henry, Adams, Sykes (T), Salked, Bridgeman-Reaney (T), Butterill, Hart, Barcoe, Flannery, Selby (2T, SB on 60). Subs: Kirk, Ruan, Barker, Cox.
Score Progression: 0-4, 4-4, 8-4, 10-4, 10-8, 10-10 : HT : 10-14, (SB), 10-16, 10-20, (SB), 10-22, 14-22, 16-22: FT.
Referee: Caitlin Beevers.