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Friday, 10 March, 2000, 22:18 GMT
Leeds end Dewsbury dream

Holders Leeds are one game away from another final
Leeds 42-10 Dewsbury

Northern Ford Premiership side Dewsbury saw their Challenge Cup dreams ended - but only after a brave fight against Super League giants Leeds.

The holders were given an early fright at Headingley before they recovered their composure to reach their seventh semi-final in eight years.

It's a problem he had a couple of years ago, he's pretty disappointed.

Leeds coach Dean Lance on Paul Bell
Captain Iestyn Harris was the inspiration for the Rhinos, as he returned from injury with a 16-point display.

But there was bad news for Leeds, when it emerged centre Paul Bell could miss the whole of the season after dislocating his shoulder and suffering ligament damage in first-half injury time.

Dewsbury were aiming to become the first non-Super League club to reach the last four.

And the 250-1 outsiders for the cup threatened to create one of the biggest upsets in the competition's history when they claimed a shock early lead.

Wood makes impact

The visitors went in front after only seven minutes, after former Wakefield second-rower Sean Richardson produced a neat off-load to send stand-off David Mycoe into space.

I feel we came out of the game with a lot of credit. I don't think we deserved a 40-point score. We represented the Northern Premiership quite well.

Dewsbury coach Neil Kelly
Winger Adrian Flynn then kicked through the legs of Leeds full-back Harris, allowing centre Gavin Wood to follow up and touch down.

Barry Eaton converted the try to put the Rams 6-0 in front.

There could so easily have been worse to come for Leeds, but Dewsbury hooker Ian Talbot was only inches away from extending the lead when he put a drop-goal attempt narrowly wide.

The Rams defended magnificently at times but they could do little to stop Rhinos' Kiwi centre Richie Blackmore in full flight after 26 minutes.

And Harris, returning from a knee injury that forced him to miss Leeds' surprise defeat by Wakefield in last week's Super League opener, put the home side in front for the first time when he dummied his way over after 32 minutes.

All to play for

Ryan Sheridan sprinted over to make it 14-6 at the break, but the contest was still not over as the visitors carved out a second try when swift cross-field passing created an overlap for the impressive Richardson to send centre Dan Potter over for Dewsbury's second try.

They were a very competitive and passionate side and certainly gave us a game. But we hung in there when they were having a crack at us and plenty of guys put their hands up.

Dean Lance
The 48th-minute introduction of teenager Kevin Sinfield finally turned the match in Leeds' favour, however.

The loose forward provided astute passes for Blackmore and Harris to claim their second tries.

And the Rhinos hit cruise control in the final stages.

Australian second-rower David Barnhill crashed over for two tries in four minutes, while Adrian Morley also took advantage of a tiring Rams defence to grab a try.

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See also:

03 Mar 00 | Rugby League
Wildcats stun Rhinos
02 Mar 00 | Rugby League
Super League blasts off
27 Feb 00 | Rugby League
Leeds face mighty minnows
26 Feb 00 | Rugby League
Rhinos claim Headingley thriller
26 Dec 99 | Rugby League
Bradford fall to Leeds
Links to other Rugby League stories are at the foot of the page.