Cooke cup blow for ‘giants’ Dons

Injured: Stand off Paul Cooke
Injured: Stand off Paul Cooke

THE Dons will be without star stand off Paul Cooke and long serving winger Dean Colton as they aim to avoid an upset in tomorrow afternoon’s Challenge Cup clash at home to top amateurs Sharlston Rovers (3pm).

Cooke suffered an Achilles injury and Colton sustained a groin strain in last Sunday’s 25-8 league defeat at Barrow.

Creative half back Craig Fawcett will come in for Cooke with Stewart Sanderson replacing Colton.

Coach Tony Miller said: “We don’t want to risk either of them making the injuries worse but I’m hoping they will both be fit again for the home game against South Wales Scorpions the following week.”

Miller said the main priority was to win Saturday’s third round tie and not worry about piling points on the board.

He added: “When you are playing a non-league side everybody expects you to win comfortably.

“But there is always at least one surprise result at this stage of the tournament and we have to make sure we are not on the receiving end of one of them.

“Sharlston have been one of the top amateur sides in the country over the last few years and have a good record in cup competitions.

“It’s a big day out for them, they are a strong physical side and we are expecting a tough game.

“But, providing we can match their spirit and enthusiasm, I’m confident about the outcome.”