Siddal are struck by Thunder

Rugby league - Siddal v University of Northumbria. George Ambler for Siddal
Rugby league - Siddal v University of Northumbria. George Ambler for Siddal
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Siddal have been paired with opposition from Newcastle for the second successive round in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

After unconvincingly edging past the students of Northumbria University by 18-16 last Saturday, they have been drawn at home to the professionals of Newcastle Thunder in the third round on the weekend of February 27-28.

The Chevinedge side, who had beaten The Army at Aldershot in the first round, were one of nine amateur teams who went into last night’s draw with the third tier professional sides.

The draw was conducted by ex-Halifax hooker Paul Rowley and Lance Todd Trophy winner Lee Briers at Wrexham.

Siddal and Thunder will have to consider where the tie will be played.

Newcastle Thunder are the only professional rugby league club in the north east, starting life as Gateshead Thunder in 2000.

They play home matches at Kingston Park, also home to rugby union side Newcastle Falcons, and finished eighth in the Kingstone Press League One competition last season with 22 points from 22 games.

They will host Leigh Miners Rangers, arch rivals of Siddal in the National Conference League, in the Ipro Sports Cup on Saturday.

The Mick Mantelli-coached side, who beat Wath Brow Hornets at the third round stage last season, start this year’s league fixtures at Oxford on March 6.

Challenge Cup, third round: Hunslet Hawks v Barrow Raiders, Oxford v Lock Lane, Rochdale Mayfield v Rochdale Hornets, Pilkington Recs v London Skolars, Kells v Hemel Stags, West Hull v Doncaster, York City Knights v York Acorn, Siddal v Newcastle Thunder, North Wales Crusaders v University of Gloucester All Golds, Wath Brow v Toulouse Olympique, Keighley Cougars v Coventry Bears, Featherstone Lions v South Wales Scorpions.