Rugby League

Narrow Defeat Knocks Navy Out Of Rugby League Challenge Cup First Round

The loss to West Bank Bears marks the fifth consecutive year the Royal Navy has failed to make it to the second round.

The Royal Navy rugby league team have been narrowly beaten in the first round of the Challenge Cup.

A 26-24 defeat away to West Bank Bears meant the Senior Service has failed to reach the second round for the fifth year in a row.

The military side made the worst possible start in Widnes as Shaun Attwood scored the opener after just four minutes.

The Navy were sluggish in the opening period and were soon further behind through Jack Murphy's unconverted try.

This was the Senior Service's first match since the Inter Services championships in September and West Bears looked sharper in the first half.

Chris Spendlove flew over the tryline to make it 12-0, and they soon extended their lead even further, with Mark Ryan scoring a converted try after.

The Navy's poor first half cost them the result as West Bank Bears scored multiple tries in the first 40 minutes.

A glimmer of hope did appear for the military team as Patrick Coy scored, and the second-half performance will have pleased the Navy bosses.

Martin Murphy scored a penalty for West Bank, but a Gavin Duffy try for the Navy was converted by Lennox Green to make it 20-12.

West Bank continued to look a threat and scored through Edward Conroy, but the Navy had the better of the second period.

Tries from Luke Cooper and Sean Houghton made for a tense final few minutes but West Bank held on for a victory by just two points.