HOLDERS Askam are out of the Barton Townley cup at the first hurdle after losing 20-8 to Millom at Fallowfield Park in front of a healthy crowd.

The Villagers, having lost at least eight regulars, went into the game as under-dogs going behind 6-0 after only three minutes on the clock. However, the Woolybacks were made to battle hard before going through against a determined home side.

Both sides put emphasis on attack and both defended like tigers when their respective lines were under threat. Millom took the game to their hosts and were soon on the score board when Adam Kelly moved acrossfield to prise open a gap for Chris Warren, who accepted the pass to touchdown,Kelly tagging on the goal.

But when Owen Myers broke downfield minutes later he lost possession on the Askam 20. In like a flash was Russ Bolton, who covered 70 yards despite several defenders giving chase an touched down for Kris Tyson to convert.

This lifted the home side as they settled down, but Millom piled on the pressure with Myers and Jordan Moyes moving the ball sharply to Charlie Emslie, who dropped the ball a foot out.

And when Millom were penalised for interfering at the play the ball, up stepped Tyson to land the goal to edge Askam ahead.

Millom lost player-coach Tom Sibley before half time with an arm injury and at times the Woolybacks looked disjointed.

Both sides were guilty of dropping the ball making it a stop-start affair. Then, on 34 minutes, Millom were back in the lead. Tyson took out Ethan Bickerdyke off the ball, leading to Adam Kelly feeding brother Ethan, and the big prop was unstoppable as he crashed over followed by Adam converting.

On the stroke of half time, Shepherd conceded a penalty, Adam Kelly took a quick tap going for the line to send Dom O’Brien in at the corner to make it 16-8 at the break.

Minutes into the second half, Askam were denied when a forward pass ruled out a Danny Rhodes try and when Tyson shot through a gap, he lost possession. Millom came back strong in a game which saw the debut of teenager Astin Mossop. A fine break from Myers took play deep, with Emslie being hauled down as the tackles ran out.

Askam’s Rhodes was sin binned on 70 minutes and the 12 men were put under pressure and the Woolybacks sealed a semi-final tie with Dalton as Warren shot over out wide.

Ulverston came from behind to defeat Walney 18-14 at Dragley Beck and now face the winners of this Saturday’s tie between Barrow Island and Roose Pioneers at Furness rugby union ground.

Tries for Ulverston came from James Porter, Sam Shepherd and Marc Storey, with Connor Saunders adding three goals. For Walney, Matt Solsby (2) and Declan Gavin crossed for tries with George Nichols adding one goal.