Rugby League

Army Into Rugby League Challenge Cup Third Round With Dramatic Comeback Victory

The military team beat Skirlaugh in Aldershot to reach the third round of the national competition.

The Army have made it through to the Challenge Cup third round for only the seventh time in their history.

A winning drop goal from Ben O'Connell won the game for the military rugby league side in extra-time, as they edged out Skirlaugh 17-16.

It means the Army have upset the odds to make it past the second round.

It was the National Conference Division One side who opened the scoring at the Military Stadium as Josh Oliver ran through a number of Army tackles for a converted try.

The team from East Riding doubled their lead soon after. Tom Saltmer’s deft kick allowed Nathan Slater to cross over the line in the corner.

Another conversion meant Skirlaugh were in control at 12-0.

A try on the stroke of half-time gave the Army a glimmer of hope heading into the second period.

Declan Baines proved to be an inspirational figure for the Army in their second half comeback.

Oliver Toms’ surge past the Skirlaugh defence set up Army skipper Declan Baines and the leader made no mistake as he slammed down under the posts.

The Army momentum was dealt a blow at the start of the second half as Skirlaugh scored again.

Billy Wardell was the man who added the points, but the Army were not to be denied.

A remarkable comeback started with Baines scoring. He took advantage of the bounce of the ball to dot down and the Skirlaugh lead was reduced to just four points.

The Army were in full swing and managed to force the match into extra time.

Liam McNamee scored the unconverted try to tie the score at 16-16 and the golden point rule came into effect.

The Army won the Inter Services last year thanks to a golden point and history repeated itself in Aldershot.

Ben O’Connell scored with the boot and the Army team were able to celebrate their third round place.