Newcastle Thunder have made a solid start to the season but couldn’t topple their Championship opposition.

Newcastle Thunder’s Challenge Cup campaign ended at the fourth round as Dewsbury Rams beat the North East club 36-8 on Friday.

Dewsbury notched the first 26 points of the match to put the game beyond doubt before half-time as Paul Sykes and Andy Kain led the team around the field well.

Sykes and Aaron Ollett scored the first two tries of the contest before the former kicked a penalty goal to make it 14-0. Debutant Brandon Douglas then crashed over the whitewash for the hosts as they furthered their advantage, putting Newcastle in a position where they had to score the next.

Unfortunately for Mick Mantelli’s side, Dale Morton touched down for yet another Rams try before Thunder finally got on the board with two minutes of the first period remaining courtesy of  Tyler Craig.

The second half only brought three tries with it, two of those going the way of Dewsbury and the other to Newcastle. Ollett and Derrell Olpherts swapped scores for the hosts and visitors respectively before James Glover registered the final try of the game with a minute left on the clock.

After the game, Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison told League Express: “That’s lifted our confidence, which we needed as we’ve been playing under some pressure and tension recently.

“But we’ve trained hard, scored some good training park tries tonight and I’m glad we were able to show our home fans that we can play a bit of footy.”

Thunder coach Mantelli was understandably disappointed with the amount of points his side shipped in the first period, although they had to contend with the wind in their face.

He also spoke with the League Express and he commented: “Playing into the wind I was prepared to give away 12 or 14 points but not 26, especially against a side like Dewsbury who, coming from the Championship, do things that little bit better.”