West Hull 16 Whitehaven 18

The early rounds of rugby league’s prestigious Ladbrokes Challenge Cup have showcased the sport at its best in recent weeks, and at Walter Simpson Park it was no different, as Whitehaven toughed out a nervy 18-16 victory over West Hull.

In tough conditions, Whitehaven had winger Shane Pattinson to thank for victory, whose 78th-minute try secured the win after West’s defensive heroics. They were superb and played their part in a fascinating cup tie.

It was real nip and tuck out there in the rain, as both sides charged into each other, for which Haven had their winger to thank. Pattinson’s try brace was all the more impressive given his recent injury troubles.

Playing with a scrum cap due to a cut to his head, he put his hand up to play late in the week, and rescued his side when it mattered most.

Carl Forster, once again excelling in his player/coach role, was terrific for his side, and showed real leadership qualities as the Cumbrian outfit battled home.

Paul Crook in the half-back role also showed some maturity, especially late on, as Whitehaven became desperate for points and field position.

However, early exchanges showed little indication of what was to come.

Whitehaven started in the ascendancy and, with a flourish of early penalties behind them, opened the scoring through Jordan Burns, who finished well after a sweeping back line move.

The Magic of the Cup though struck all in attendance as amateurs West refused to lay down.

They got stuck in to their League One opposition and responded abruptly. Liam Forster excellently beat several Whitehaven defenders to score on the right edge, with Skelton’s conversion putting West ahead.

Light rain began to fall and, with strong winds blistering Walter Simpson Park, it was tough conditions. But, credit to both sides, who tried to play some expansive stuff.

Whitehaven took the lead again as Tyrone Dalton was first to reach a neat Crook kick to the in-goal, but in true amateur fashion, it was West prop forward Ryan Wilson who provided the first half’s stand out moment.

With the ball finding him on the last tackle, Wilson kicked through and grounded his effort, with Skelton again converting to give the Green and Golds a 12-10 interval lead.

Haven, however, started the second half well, scoring through impressive winger Pattinson following some excellent crisp handling.

Crook though couldn’t convert, but the away side, who were backed by a small bunch of travelling fans, continued to pound the pressure on their hosts.

West defended heroically though, and were rewarded for their efforts with several penalties. They got down Haven's end and took their chance, as Richard Squires dived his way over.

Haven exhibited a never-say-die attitude. They dug in and showed some good team cohesion to get their winner, as Pattinson grabbed his second try late on off a pin-point Crook kick to take his side into the fourth round.

West Hull: Skelton, Foster, Squires, Rowan, Edwards, Brett, Kerman, Wilson, Powley, Howlett, Crowther, Cator, Steen. Bench: Windley, Eccles, Higginbotham, Dougal.

Tries: Foster, Wilson, Squires. Goals: Skelton 2/3

Whitehaven: Burns, Holliday, Taylor, Parker, Pattinson, Dalton, Crook, Sharkley, Newton, Holland, Tilley, McAvoy, Forster. Bench: Riley, Maudlink, Brown, Worthington.

Tries: Burns, Dalton, Pattinson 2. Goals: Crook 1/4

Half-Time: 12-10

Penalties: 12-15

Star Man: Shane Pattinson