THERE was not much luck for Cumbrian clubs at tonight’s draw for the fourth round of the 2015 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
All three drew top Championship clubs missing an obvious chance to progress through being matched against some of the Championship One minnows.
Workington Town have the toughest task as they have been drawn away to former Super League club Bradford Bulls.
Whitehaven and Barrow do, at least, have home draws but they are tough ones. Whitehaven entertain Featherstone while Barrow host Halifax.
In Workington Town’s case the trip to Bradford comes at the end of an eight-day slot when they will have already played home Championship games against Sheffield (2pm Sunday) and Dewsbury (7-30pm Wednesday).
It couldn’t have come at a worse time with Town currently battling against a series of knocks and injuries which will decrease coach Phil Veivers’ selection pool at the week-end.
To make it more difficult Town know they will have to go back to Bradford a week later for their Championship clash with the Bulls.
Bradford Bulls actually staged tonight’s draw when the home teams were drawn by Leeds Rhinos forward and former Bradford Bulls favourite Jamie Peacock MBE. The away teams were drawn by Hull FC stand-off Leon Pryce, who lifted the trophy alongside Peacock when they won the competition with the Bulls in 2000 and 2003.
All 12 Kingstone Press Championship enter at the fourth round stage which will feature some compelling ties, including league leaders Leigh Centurions at home to London Broncos whilst the lowest ranked team left in the competition, Featherstone Lions, welcome League 1 side York City Knights.
Jamie Peacock said: “It was fantastic to see how many fans turn out for the draw tonight. It’s a trophy with great heritage so let’s make a fuss out of it and I’m glad the RFL have been able to do that.
“Leigh against London has to be the tie of the round and it will be interesting to see how some of the community clubs go in their home fixtures.”
Leon Pryce said: “It was great to come back to Bradford and help with the draw. My fondest memory of Rugby League when I was growing up is watching the Challenge Cup.
“I was pleased to see the Bulls got a home tie against Workington. That one obviously got the biggest cheer of the evening!”
The winners of the fourth round ties will progress to the fifth round when Hull FC, Hull KR, Salford Red Devils and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats – the clubs which finished the 2014 Super League season in ninth to 12thpositions - enter the competition. All fourth round games will be played over the weekend of March 21 and March 22.
The Ladbrokes Challenge Cup fourth round draw in full is as follows:
North Wales Crusaders v Doncaster
Dewsbury Rams v Newcastle Thunder
Featherstone Lions v York City Knights
Barrow Raiders v Halifax
Bradford Bulls v Workington Town
Normanton Knights v Batley Bulldogs
Leigh Miners Rangers v Oxford
Swinton Lions v Rochdale Hornets
Sheffield Eagles v Oldham
Whitehaven v Featherstone Rovers
Leigh Centurions v London Broncos
University of Gloucestershire All Golds v Hunslet Hawks