Community teams set foot on the road to Wembley

The qualifying rounds for the 2013 Challenge Cup kick-off this weekend with community Rugby League clubs from across England and Wales taking their first steps on the road to Wembley.  

Thirty eight of the 40 clubs entering Qualifying Round One are in action this weekend and some of the stand-out ties include a Cumbrian derby between Askam and Millom, Welsh champions Bonymaen Broncos travelling to Bradford Dudley Hill and Student champions Leeds Metropolitan University hosting Elland.               

One club who are excited to be involved in the competition are Conference 3 side Bristol Sonics, who host Eccles.

Bristol Sonics Chairman Phil Cole said: “The Challenge Cup is the competition that most people outside of Rugby League are aware of.

“The final takes place every year at Wembley and over the years has become one of the essential days out in the British sporting calendar. To take part in such a historic competition is brilliant for Rugby League in the South West, and of course for Bristol Sonics.

“I would urge anyone with a few hours to spare on Saturday afternoon to come down and cheer on the club – the lads will need all the support they can get.”

The Sonics have appeared in the Challenge Cup once before, losing to Leeds Met Carnegie in the first round back in 2009. In front of a record crowd for a Rugby League fixture in Bristol, the Sonics sensationally took the lead before wilting under sustained pressure in the second period. Despite losing heavily, it was one of the most memorable days in the club’s history.

Bristol’s second appearance in the competition comes just over a month after the club celebrated its tenth birthday and captain Dom Swann believes they can cause an upset.

He said: “Eccles will be the best side we’ve ever faced, and they’re arguably miles ahead of us at the moment.

“That said, our form in the latter half of the National Conference League 3 season was excellent, so I’m sure we can give them a very good game at the very least. If we did win, it would be our best result to date by some distance.”

Bristol Sonics face Eccles in the First Qualifying Round of the Carnegie Challenge Cup at Clifton RFC, Cribbs Causeway, on Saturday October 27 (2.30pm).

Challenge Cup Qualifying Round One

Saturday October 27

Blackbrook v Castleford Lock Lane (1.30pm)

Askam v Millom (2pm TBC)     

Bank Quay Bulls v Castleford Panthers (KO 2pm TBC)

Bradford Dudley Hill v Bonymaen Broncos (KO 2.30pm)

Dewsbury Celtic v Ovenden (KO 2.30pm)

East Leeds v Drighlington (KO 1.30pm)

Featherstone Lions v Stanley Rangers (KO 2.30pm)

Hunslet Warriors v Wigan St Jude’s (KO 2.30pm)

Leeds Metropolitan University v Elland (KO 2pm)

Northumbria University v Milford Marlins (KO 2pm)

Rochdale Mayfield v Hull University (KO 2pm)

Stanningley v Widnes West Bank (KO 2pm)             

Bristol Sonics v Eccles (KO 2pm)

Hunslet Old Boys v St Mary’s University (KO 2 30pm)

Shaw Cross Sharks v Pilkington Recs (KO 2 30pm)

Sunday October 28

Eastmoor Dragons v Loughborough University (KO 1 30pm)

Warrington Wizards v British Police (KO 2pm)

Huddersfield Underbank Rangers v Heworth (KO 2pm)

Saturday November 3

Kells v Egremont Rangers (KO 1.30pm)

Normanton Knights v York Acorn (KO 1.30pm)

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