Dewsbury Rams began their hunt for a place in the Championship shield final with a clinical 36-24 victory at home to Swinton Lions.
Glenn Morrison’s side reached the semi-finals of the competition last year and will be hoping they can improve upon that after today’s impressive showing.
The Rams took an early lead thanks to Paul Sykes and would go into the break with a 22-0 lead after further tries from the captain, Joel Farrell and Etu Uaisele.
Josh Guzdek and Dom Speakman added another two for the Rams after the interval, before a quick fire triple from Swinton almost threatened a late comeback.
After a strong start to the match Rams captain Sykes collected a clever pass from Andy Kain and evaded the remaining Lions defenders to open the home sides account, before adding the extra’s himself.
Swinton struggled for possession early into the half and their first real chance came as former Dewsbury man Josh Barlow released the ball to Jake Emmitt on the 20 metre line, Emmitt ran directly into the Dewsbury defence and was forced into a mistake, conceding possession.
Regaining possession, Matt Groat raced down the right flank with Tom Hemingway in support, but Groat ignored his calls and continued to charge forward, but he ran out of space and was forced to kick forward, loosing possession.
Both sides were struggling to impose themselves on the game, but a second Sykes try gave Morrison’s men some breathing space, this time he missed the conversion.
The Rams lead was extended further when Aaron Brown found Farrell who snuck through an opening in the Lions defence to touch down, Sykes converting the kick.
Lucas Walshaw’s try was potentially the Rams best of the season, the loanee sped down the right wing, cut inside and around two Lions defenders before squeezing through a gap in their back line to put the Rams 20 up on half time, Sykes increasing it to 22 with the conversion.
Kain handed Swinton their first try when his no-look one-handed pass went straight into the hands of Swinton’s Ben White, he sent through Macauley Halllett who raced through unchallenged to score, Chris Atkins converting.
Kain made up for this mistake with another sublime pass, this time to Guzdek who broke through an opening in the Swinton defence to touch down, Sykes adding the extra’s. Dom Speakman added the Rams final try, coming just before a quick-fire Swinton triple.
Barlow, Mike Butt and Rhodri Lloyd all scored for the Lions in a impressive final 12 minute of play however it was a case of too little too late with them still trailing by 12 points come the final whistle.