Challenge Cup: Ovenden lose to West Bowling

Rugby League - Ovenden v West Bowling. Graham Charlesworth celebrates touching down for Ovenden.
Rugby League - Ovenden v West Bowling. Graham Charlesworth celebrates touching down for Ovenden.

Ovenden were unable to beat National Conference League visitors for the second round running yesterday, losing 38-18 at home to West Bowling.

The Four Fields men drew first blood but their visitors from Bradford powered into a 34-8 lead before Jake Connor’s side made the score line more respectable with two tries in the last 10 minutes.

Ovenden spokesman Steve Taylor said: “We just didn’t perform but I wouldn’t want to take anything away from a very good, young West Bowling side. I was very impressed by them.”

Prolific scorer Graham Charlesworth gave Ovenden a great start with the opening try off Sean Dyson’s cut out pass.

However, the home side started conceding penalties and the visitors took advantage with tries from Jay Panter, Dan Gregory and Chris Watson, all converted by stand-off Ben Heald.

That left Ovenden trailing 18-4 after 28 minutes but a good run from Macauley Higgins paved the way for Callum Higgins to cut the half-time deficit to 10 points.

The message from Hull FC and England’s Connor was that the game was far from over with the elements in the home side’s favour in the second half.

Ovenden kicked well to the bottom corner and Dean Robertshaw and Shaun Smith went close but Bowling tackle well and held out.

The game breaker came on 50 minutes when visiting hooker Danny Halmshaw backed up a break and went 30 metres to score, Heald’s kick extending the visitors’ lead to 24-8.

Panter’s second put the outcome beyond doubt and Bowling retained possession well with half-backs Harry Williams and Heald dictating the play.

Scrum half Williams got Bowling’s next try on 65 minutes, converted by Heald, but Higgins got the try his efforts deserved and Dyson converted to make it 14-38.

Left winger Sam Dunne added to the visitors’ tally but Smith had the last word for the home side.

Taylor added that his side had been outplayed on the day but Ovenden had enjoyed their return to the Challenge Cup after a lengthy break.

“There was a big crowd up there which will have helped to swell the coffers,” he said.

“It is a pity we didn’t make it to the third round but we will just have to win the Pennine League again to qualify for the Challenge Cup next year.”