Wakefield Trinity close in on Wembley final after 1895 Cup win over Barrow Raiders

Wakefield Trinity are just 80 minutes away from a first major Wembley final since 1979 after beating Barrow Raiders in the quarter finals of the 1895 Cup.
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Two very early tries from Renouf Atoni and Max Jowitt gave Trinity a commanding platform against a battling Barrow side, but Josh Griffin’s score just before the half-time hooter handed them further breathing room.

Max Anderson-Moore’s second half double gave the Raiders some hope but Atoni’s second and Harvey Smith’s effort sent Wakefield through to the last four.

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It’s been 45 years since Wakefield last graced the turf of Wembley in a 12-3 Challenge Cup final defeat at the hands of Widnes.

The DIY Kitchens StadiumThe DIY Kitchens Stadium
The DIY Kitchens Stadium

And they have seemingly been on a determined march to the national stadium following sensational group stage victories over York Knights and Newcastle Thunder which set up this last-eight fixture at the DIY Kitchens Stadium.

Only Bradford Bulls or Swinton Lions now stand in their way.

But neither side will surely relish coming up against a side who before this win were averaging a try every 6.27 minutes in their previous four games.

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The home fans, however, had to wait less than one minute for the first try against Barrow. A play-the-ball error gifted Wakefield position and Atoni did the rest by barging over from close range.

The celebrations had barely simmered before Jowitt weaved his way over. After successfully converting his own try, Trinity led 12-0, with barely five minutes on the clock.

You feared for Barrow. The club record result which they achieved only two weekends ago against Newcastle - 110-0 - was potentially under threat.

But the Raiders rallied to firm up their defence while also having promising spells in attack, with Matt Costello going close on two occasions.

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They could not break through Wakefield’s back line and Daryl Powell’s men soaked up the pressure and, perhaps fortuitously, got their third of the afternoon as Myles Lawford’s grubber kick took a kind bounce, landing in the arms of Romain Franco who offloaded to Griffin who dived over.

18-0 down and with the West Yorkshire rain lashing into their faces, the Cumbrians refused to wilt at the start of the second half.

And their valiant efforts were rewarded in the 53rd minute as they brought the score back to a 12-point deficit thanks to Max Anderson-Moore’s try.

Trinity had struggled to gain some much-needed momentum at the start of the second half but they restored their 18-point advantage when Atoni went under sticks for his double.

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Again, Barrow did not give up and Anderson-Moore crossed in the corner for his own double.

But Smith added gloss to the scoreline – 30-12 – in the final minute after a dazzling run against a tired Raiders side.

Wakefield will now await the winners of Sunday’s quarter final showdown between the Bulls and Swinton, as a rare trip to Wembley looms on the horizon.

Wakefield: Jowitt, Franco, Griffin, Pratt, Walmsley, Lawford, Gale, Bowden, Hood, Atoni, Ashurst, Vagana, Pitts

Interchanges: Uele, Cozza, Smith, Booth

Tries: Atoni (2), Jowitt, Griffin, Smith

Conversions: Jowitt (5)

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Barrow: Cresswell, Shaw, Costello, Toal, Anderson-Moore, B Walker, Johnston, T Walker, Wood, Silva, Clarke, Emslie, Wilkinson

Interchanges: Smith, Makin, Burke, Bedward

Tries: Anderson-Moore (2)

Conversions: Shaw