Ovenden 22 Woolston Rovers 20

MAL Holt says his Woolston Rovers side will take plenty from their Challenge Cup exit at the hands of Ovenden on Saturday.

Rovers led 12-4 at the interval but could not shake off their hosts, who are coached by Hull FC and England star Jake Connor and played much of the second half with 12 men after Anthony Irvine was sent off for a stamp.

Even so, the Warrington side had the chance to force golden-point extra time when Justin Becker crossed with the final play, but the missed conversion allowed Ovenden to celebrate victory.

“I am really disappointed about the result but I am very proud of each player who gave their all,” Holt said.

“We travelled into the unknown and were beaten by a well-organised side who used their knowledge of the small pitch to their advantage along with a large home support.

“We controlled large parts of the game but we were unable to shake Ovenden off and we were a little naïve when in allowing them to get to us when we were on top.

“We will take plenty of positives from the game and also work on the negatives in training over the next few weeks.”

Christian Taylor and Dan Fearnley scored early tries to put Rovers in control before Conner Muir was sin-binned for a professional foul.

From the resulting penalty, Graham Charlesworth crossed for Ovenden but Theo Holt’s penalty gave Woolston a two-score lead at the break after Callum Pilling had seen yellow for the hosts.

Josh McAdam scored for the hosts just before Irvine’s red card, but he took Ryan Brown with him for 10 minutes for retaliation.

Just before Brown was reintroduced, Rovers winger Aaron Barber was sin-binned for a swinging arm and Korey Ashton scored immediately to give the hosts the lead.

Straight after the restart, Charlesworth split the Woolston defence to score between the posts.

Woolston refused to lie down and Nick Braide powered over in the left corner before Becker's score put them within a conversion of extra time.

Woolston: Conner Muir; Christian Taylor, Justin Becker, Dan Fearnley, Aaron Barber; Theo Holt, Dec Leonard; Ryan Hickman, Ryan Brown, John Welch, Matt Taylor, Josh Sudlow, Harry Files. Subs: Nick Braide, Adam Files, Alex Smith, Jacob Proudlove.