Whitehaven's best performance of the season so far earned them a place in the fifth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

Two defeats in League One games have been matched by two successes in cup action but this second victory at the Recreation Ground was a real boost for coach Carl Forster, his staff and the team.

Dewsbury have started solidly in the Championship, so this was a very credible win for the Cumbrians who had struggled to see off London Skolars in the previous round.

In all aspects of their game – defence, attack and discipline – Whitehaven were better than in their previous fixtures and that will give confidence for the League One matches ahead.

Although Dewsbury started positively, and Whitehaven had to be strong in defence, it was the hosts who went in front after just eight minutes.

Strong work by the forwards took them in close and then quick hands out left saw Jessie Joe Parker diving over for the opening try which Jordan Burns converted.

A Burns penalty four minutes later extended the Whitehaven lead in what had been a very encouraging start.

But then a spell of Dewsbury pressure paid off for the visitors.

After Dom Speakman had been held up, prop Martyn Reilly forced his way over from close range. James Glover converted.

Back came Whitehaven with new loan signing Liam Cooper, strong and eye-catching in the second-row, among several outstanding performers for the hosts.

Cooper almost got over with a strong charge at the line but from the next play-the-ball it was Forster who had the strength to get through defenders on the line and get the ball down. Burns converted.

Whitehaven were defending well and, when Gareth Moore tried a chip through on 33 minutes it was snaffled, under pressure by Dave Thompson. He kept his feet, saw a gap and proceeded to get away to race 70 yards before he was tackled.

But Whitehaven moved the ball quickly from the play-the-ball to Jason Mossop who went in for the third try which was again converted by Burns.

Forster would have been delighted to get his side in with a 20-6 lead but Dewsbury were given some hope when they scored a second try two minutes before the hooter.

Haven had done well to defend successive sets but they were opened up as substitute Jack Teanby raced in for a try which Glover converted.

Seven minutes into the restart, Whitehaven were able to find a way through again and it was the admirable Parker, a constant worry for the Rams in the centre, finished-off with his second try but this time Burns was unable to convert.

But Dewsbury were able to cut the gap on 55 minutes with a fine try by Glover. Dion Aiye put in a kick on halfway which was gathered by the Rams’ centre.

With a quick side-step and then a shimmy, he found a gap and accelerated away from the Whitehaven pursuers to score under the posts for him to add the extras.

It was now a six-point game and both sides had to earn their medals in defence over the last quarter.

Whitehaven went close when Aiye put in a kick for the corner and Burns, coming through at pace, just couldn’t gather before it bounced into touch.

But it was Whitehaven who did get the final score of the game to cinch the tie – a drop goal from Stuart Howarth in the 77th minute.