Challenge Cup draw is a good one for us - York City Knights boss Gary Thornton

ALL SMILES: Pat Smith, left, and Jonny Presley celebrate the latter's try in the Knights' third-round win over Whitehaven

ALL SMILES: Pat Smith, left, and Jonny Presley celebrate the latter's try in the Knights' third-round win over Whitehaven

First published in Sport
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GARY THORNTON insisted today's Tetley's Challenge Cup draw was a cracking one for York City Knights - despite the fact it will bring no cash into the club's coffers.

The Knights had been hoping for a plum money-spinning fourth-round tie against Super League big-guns but were instead drawn away to Championship nomads Swinton Lions after being last out of the hat.

A sizeable crowd is unlikely given the Lions' lowly average attendance and York also miss out on home advantage, but head coachThornton reckons the clash is a "very attractive tie" as it gives them a good chance get through to round five, where the draw might be kinder.

"It's another winnable game for us," said Thornton, whose in-form Championship One outfit beat the odds to topple another Championship side in Whitehaven on Sunday.

"I would have preferred to take them on at home but that's the not case. But Swinton are near the bottom of the Championship and I think they're there for the taking. Hopefully we can do that."

As for the fact the tie is unlikely to boost the club's bank balance, Thornton said: "That puts a bit of added pressure on us because we have to go and win it to get through and then hopefully get a big money-earner in the next round.

"But we're looking at it as a game we can win and get ourselves through to the last 16, and then who knows."

The Knights are currently in good heart, with their defeat of Haven coming a week after they had ended two hoodoos with victory at arch-rivals Hunslet - their first over the Hawks in ten attempts and their first league success on the road for 33 months. Furthermore, while they sit top of Championship One with two wins from two, Swinton have lost all four of their Championship matches to date, although they did hammer Gateshead 66-6 in Sunday's third-round tie.

Thornton added: "We were last out of the hat so once all the other teams had come out we knew what we were going to get. It's perhaps not the reward we would have liked for Sunday's excellent win over Whitehaven but it's winnable and therefore it's an attractive tie. It could've been worse."

The tie is likely to be played at Swinton's current home at Leigh Sports Village - probably on Sunday, April 6 - as their landlords, Leigh Centurions, were handed an away game at Rochdale so will not need first use of the ground.

There were several eye-catching all-Super League ties in today's draw - Leeds go to Wakefield, Huddersfield host St Helens, Hull KR face Warrington, Hull entertain big-spending Salford and London go over the Channel to Catalans. Holders Wigan were drawn away to Dewsbury.

Challenge Cup fourth-round draw: Huddersfield v St Helens, Dewsbury v Wigan, Wakefield v Leeds, Rochdale v Leigh, Batley v Castleford, Doncaster v Hemel Stags, Keighley v Barrow, Featherstone v North Wales, Hull Kingston Rovers v Warrington, Hull v Salford, Bradford v Oldham, Hunslet v Workington, Catalans v London Broncos, Halifax v Widnes, Sheffield v London Skolars, Swinton v York. Ties to be played over the weekend of April 5-6.

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