Swinton Lions held off a late comeback from Newcastle Thunder to win 28-16 at Heywood Road and book their place in the Challenge Cup Second Round.
The hosts took the lead after 10 minutes, as Rhodri Lloyd took in a grubber from Will Hope to score. Martyn Ridyard scored the conversion for a six-point lead.
Swinton were then able to double their lead, after a really tight middle period in the first half. With half-an-hour gone, Ridyard’s kick found Mike Butt, who went over under the posts. Ridyard scored the conversion.
Right on half-time, the Lions got their third try. After the hooter sounded, Butt picked up a stray pass 40m from his own try-line and ran all the way to score. Ridyard hit the post with the conversion.
20 minutes into the second half, Newcastle finally got onto the scoresheet, as a Josh Woods kick was patted back by Matty Wright, creating space for Ukuma Ta’ai to score. Wright converted to reduce the deficit to 10 points.
Five minutes later, Swinton’s nerves were helped, as Jack Hansen finished a good break from Geronimo Doyle to score. Ridyard converted to put them ahead by 16 points again.
Newcastle kept themsleves alive by getting another try back just three minutes later. A good move saw Cian Tyrer finish off out wide. Wright converted to make it a 10-point game again.
Thunder really started to believe when Sam Wilde spotted a gap and went over. Wright missed the conversion, meaning there was still six points in it with six minutes to go.
Swinton finished the game when Rhodri Lloyd brought the ball out, and offloaded to Geronimo Doyle, who ran in for the try. Ridyard converted.
Swinton will now face Oldham in the Second Round next week, while Newcastle have a week off before facing Widnes Vikings at home in their first Championship game.
Swinton Lions: Geronimo Doyle, Richard Lepori, Mitch Cox, Liam Forsyth, Mike Butt, Martyn Ridyard, Jack Hansen, Sam Brooks, Luke Waterworth, Lewis Hatton, Rhodri Lloyd, Nick Gregson, Will Hope.
Subs: Louis Brogan, Paddy Jones, Paul Nash, Deane Meadows.
Head Coach: Stuart Littler.
Newcastle Thunder: Lewis Young, Jack Johnson, Matty Wright, Calum Turner, Cian Tyrer, Jake Shorrocks, Josh Woods, Nathan Wilde, Evan Simons, Mikey Wood, Ukuma Ta’ai, Sam Wilde, Connor Bailey.
Subs: Ted Chapelhow, Jay Chapelhow, Evan Hodgson, Cole Oakley.
Head Coach: Eamon O’Carroll.