The Co-operative Rugby League Conference Grand Finals Day takes place this Sunday September 12 at Derby City RFC.
The Co-operative RLC Regional Grand Final between Hunslet Parkside Hawks and Northampton Demons kicks off at 1pm with St Albans Centurions and Coventry Bears competing for the Harry Jepson trophy in the RLC Premier Grand Final at 3pm.
Over 60 teams across England, Scotland and Wales have taken part in the Co-operative Rugby League Conference Regional competition in 2010 whilst a further 32 clubs participated in the Co-operative Rugby League Conference Premier Competition.
The overall number of teams playing in the Co-operative Rugby League Conference National, Premier and Regional Divisions broke the 100-team barrier for the first time in 2010 with a total of 108 teams involved.
RLC Premier Grand Finalists Coventry Bears were formed in 1999 and have since become one of the most consistent sides in the Rugby League Conference.
They were semi finalists in their first season, finalists in their second season and Harry Jepson Trophy Winners in their third season. In 2004 they defeated Warrington Woolston in the National 3 Grand Final at Widnes’ Halton Stadium.
This is the Bears’ third Grand Final in the last four years having played St Albans and West London in the other two finals. Their Ladies team has been equally as successful having contested Grand Finals twice and this year defeated Leeds Akkies in the Women’s Plate competition.
St Albans Centurions first took to the field in September 1996 when a scratch side recruited through local press advertising narrowly lost to a Hemel development side.
In the 14 years since the Centurions have developed into a popular and successful club playing in the LHF Healthplan National 3 division between 2003-2006 and making the play-offs each year.
In 2007 they joined the Rugby League Conference Southern Premier and won the Southern final as well as the Harry Jepson Trophy. They made the Southern Premier play-offs in 2008 and 2009 and won the Southern Premier Trophy this season.
The Co-operative Rugby League Conference Regional Grand Finalists Northampton Demons are the reigning Champions of the RLC Regional competition after defeating Jarrow Vikings in 2009 at Derby.
The team competes in the East division of the competition and has only lost one game in the past two seasons.
Six players from Northampton are on the books of professional clubs, a try scorer in last year’s final, Dan Brotherton, is at St Helens, Will Lovell and Matt Meek are at Harlequins RL and Tino Decaro, Aidan Power and Ben Hanger are signed on with Sheffield Eagles.
It’s been a meteoric rise for the club after finishing second bottom in the 2008 competition and the past two years have seen a dramatic growth within all sections of the club which now boasts a further seven teams in its ranks including two each at the Under 14 level and Under 16 age groups.
Hunslet Parkside Hawks entered the Rugby League Conference in 2009.
The team is a joint venture between Hunslet Parkside & Hunslet Hawks RLFC that will see several of their under 18 side graduate to the Parkside Hawks. The team also includes players from surrounding clubs such as Hunslet Old Boys, Hunslet Warriors, Queens, Milford and East Leeds.
The Hawks won the Midlands Merit league last year to progress into the national quarter Finals but the Hawks got knocked out of the competition by the eventual winners and this year’s finalists.