Amateurs Underbank Rangers up for “their Cup final” against Bradford

Drew Darbyshire

Underbank Rangers are taking their Challenge Cup round four clash against Bradford very seriously – and want to be in the hat for the next round. 

Rangers, a club older than the game itself, have waited more than 135 years for the chance to take on professional opposition.

Underbank face Bradford in round four of the Challenge Cup at Dewsbury’s Tetley’s Stadium on Sunday.

Underbank coach Richard Knight said: “Ideally, I would have preferred the Army or Leigh Miners Rangers at home to then potentially go somewhere like Huddersfield Giants or Toronto or Catalan but now we’ll just have to beat Bradford away and draw the Giants in the round after I suppose.

“For the players, it’s their Challenge Cup final, and hopefully we can go there and give a good account of ourselves.

“After three promotions and a Grand Final, the only thing left to tick off the list was to play a pro team.

“In 135 years, we’d never played a pro team and now we’ve beaten one and ended up with Bradford Bulls.

“If someone said to me in January that would happen, I would probably not believe them but that’s the magic of the Challenge Cup.”

Underbank eased past League 1 opposition West Wales Raiders in the last round of the Cup at Stebonheath Park in Llanelli.

The trip to Wales cost the amateur club around £2,500 on travel and an overnight stay – but they can now cash in on a clash against Bradford.

Knight added: “It’s definitely an added benefit.

“We’re a few thousand down from the previous trip, when three of the lads drove down on the morning of the game and it cost them money.

“Financially it was a burden on the players and the club but that doesn’t really worry me, it’s more about people like our president Gerald (Parr), who has been there for 50 years as a player and coach and Neil Farrell, our team manager, who has been involved for 25 to 30 years, having a chance to have a good day out.

“If the club make some money out of it just a bonus.”

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