The first round of the newly-revamped 1895 Cup continued today with two upset victories for League One sides which saw reigning champions Halifax defeated.
The 2024 edition of the 1895 Cup officially got underway yesterday with York Knights putting up a record score against Newcastle Knights, running in 21 tries as they won 114-10 against the recently saved League One side.
League One sides fared bettered today though with both Keighley Cougars and Oldham RLFC picking up wins, both against Championship opposition.
The Cougars won at home by a score of 35-6 against recently promoted Dewsbury Rams, the two teams having effectively swapped league positions for 2024 with the Cougars relegated from the Championship and the Rams promoted from League One.
As such that result wasn’t a major shock, although the margin was, but the big shock of the day came at Oldham as they beat out champions Halifax Panthers in a close-fought game 24-20.
The Roughyeds have had a very impressive off-season in signing a whole host of former Super League players and appointing Sean Long as head coach, but to go out and beat a strong Halifax side is a huge feat for the League One favourites.
What are the 1895 Cup results?
As well as Keighley and Oldham’s impressive wins there were also large victories for Doncaster, Featherstone Rovers, Swinton Lions, and Barrow Raiders.
Barrow beat out Cumbrian rivals Workington 30-8 to go atop their group whilst fellow Championship strugglers from 2023 Swinton Lions put 40 points past North Wales Crusaders.
The Lions won 40-12 with new signing Dec Patton once again proving influential, as he did when the Lions beat St Helens earlier in the pre-season.
Away victories also came for newly promoted Doncaster who defeated Midlands Hurricanes 40-4, but the biggest score of the day went to last year’s Championship favourites Featherstone Rovers.
The Flat Cappers put up 62 in a 62-12 win on the road against Yorkshire rivals Hunslet with Gareth Gale completing his hat trick late on in the game.
How does the new 1895 Cup work?
In a shift from the normal schedule the 1895 Cup has been brought forward to the start of the season with both the Championship and League One set to start in March instead.
Of the 21 teams involved, (Cornwall and Toulouse Olympique not competing), seven groups of three were confirmed with the aim being to create regional matches.
That was exemplified by the Cumbrian pot that sees Barrow Raiders, Workington Town and Whitehaven all in the same group.
The intention for the 1895 Cup this year is to create home fixtures for those League One sides with all groups seeded and featuring at least one League One team.
More information on how the competition works can be seen here.
Round One 1895 Cup Results
Newcastle Thunder 10-114 York Knights (Saturday)
Hunslet 12-62 Featherstone Lions
Keighley Cougars 35-6 Dewsbury Rams
Midlands Hurricanes 4-40 Doncaster RLFC
North Wales Crusaders 12-40 Swinton Lions
Oldham RLFC 24-20 Halifax Panthers
Workington Town 8-30 Barrow Raiders
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