Scarborough Pirates’ foray into the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup came to a halt as they suffered a 62-6 defeat at a strong Oulton Raiders outfit.
The National Conference Division One side were simply too strong for Adam Lee’s Pirates, who battled valiantly for 80 minutes in difficult conditions.
The West Yorkshire side led 28-6 at half-time and never looked back in the second half as they ran out comfortable winners and moved into the second round.
Although the heavily-fancied home side took a 10-0 lead early on, the one-sided fixture some expected looked unlikely when the Pirates hit back to make it 10-6.
The away side’s try came from substitute Dan Stanley, who had only replaced the injured Liam Braithwaite minutes earlier. Stanley received the ball and barged over from close range, James Millward converting successfully.
The homes side’s superior strength, fitness and speed of hand showed as they took control of the game in the final moments of the first half to extend their lead.
They they then took the game by the scruff of the neck after the interval, three late tries adding a touch of gloss to the scoreline.
Player-coach Lee was named as the Pirates’ man of the match after a solid display, but Lee was keen to heap praise on his battling squad afterwards.
Lee said: “It was a proud moment for the club and for myself.
“We matched them for the first half-an-hour and then their fitness, strength and size took their toll.
“I thought our captain Dave Douthwaite, Billy Parker, Jack Hakings and Millward were all outstanding, but everyone played their part.
“We had great support again and I can’t thank them enough. They were our 18th man.
“I think the scoreline flatters them a bit. Even they said after the game that 62-6 was harsh on the effort we put into the game. “They’re an outstanding club with a great set-up though, and they had some kind words for us after the game.
“This has just made the lads and myself hungrier for the season now and we’ll be back in training looking to hit the ground running.”