Teams prepare for Challenge Cup first round

Siddal will be looking to make an impact on the Carnegie Challenge Cup when they face Saddleworth Rangers in a first-round tie on Saturday.

This weekend sees eight preliminary- and 18 first-round matches being played.

Other noteworthy encounters include York Acorn v Thatto Heath, Wath Brow v Kells, Blackwood Bulldogs v Edge Hill Uni. and Leeds Met versus Loughborough Uni.

Siddal dispatched West Bowling to reach the third round of the cup last season only to suffer a narrow 10-6 defeat at the hands of Swinton Lions.

The Halifax-based club also won the BARLA National Cup last year, and Saturday’s opponents Saddleworth were beaten 16-2 in the course of that cup run.

“It was a pretty close game last year and they have probably improved a bit since then,” said Siddal captain Nick Smith.

“The pitch is in a valley bottom and it is not very big. They usually have quite a big set of forwards and they are going well so it is likely to be tough.” 

The Challenge Cup will be displayed at York Acorn’s Thanet Road ground tomorrow from 12pm until 5pm, during which time Acorn will face Thatto Heath Crusaders.

The trophy is being displayed as part of a cross-country tour by the Rugby Football League and competition sponsors Carnegie.

Tensions will run high in Cumbria when NCL Premier League Wath Brow Hornets play host to Cumberland League champions Kells.

Kells are one of the best teams in the county and called cup kings for a reason,” said Hornets boss Kevin Rudd.

“The Cumberland League lost a bit when we left but still has four or five really good teams, the likes of Seaton, Kells and Broughton.”

Wath Brow hope to have Great Britain u18 international Glenn Riley and Matthew Huby available for tomorrow, as the players may be required to attend a Great Britain training session.

Welsh champions Blackwood Bulldogs, entering the Challenge Cup for the first time, are the only Welsh side until Crusaders enter in Round Four.

The Bulldogs will be fielding a strong team against Edge Hill University with coach Alex Borghese saying, “We’ve got a strong squad out, one I believe that is our strongest in a year.

“We won the Grand Final last year but had a few players out injured or carrying injuries. Now we’re fit and ready to go.”

Leeds Met Carnegie were given a walkover in their preliminary round fixture against St Mary’s University College, but now have to face another university rival in Loughborough.

Loughborough beat Saturday’s opponents 26-22 earlier in the season and now Leeds, who reached the third round last year, are looking for revenge.

“This is a really exciting tie with the two top university sides in the country coming up against each other,” said coach Paul Fletcher.

“The boys are looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we can get the result we want on Sunday.”

Fixtures:

Saturday 23 January 2010

Carnegie Challenge Cup – Preliminary Round

Leigh Miners Rangers v Millom (2.30pm)
Oldham St Annes v Wigan St Jude’s (1.30pm)
Waterhead v Drighlington (1.30pm)
West Bowling v Normanton Knights (1.30pm)
Widnes St Maries v Myton Warriors (1.30pm)
Wigan St Patricks v Broughton Red Rose (2.30pm)
 
Carnegie Challenge Cup – Round One

Bradford Dudley Hill v Castleford Panthers (1.30pm)
Castleford Lock Lane v Thornhill Trojans (1.30pm)
Crosfields v Rochdale Mayfield (1.30pm)
East Hull v Stanley Rangers (1.30pm)
East Leeds v Ovenden (1.30pm)
Eccles & Salford Juniors v Leigh East (2.30pm)
Featherstone Lions v The Army (2.30pm)
Heworth v Hunslet Warriors (2.30pm)
Ince Rose Bridge v Oulton Raiders (1.30pm)
Milford Marlins v Eastmoor Dragons (1.30pm)
Saddleworth Rangers v Siddal (2.30pm)
Wath Brow Hornets v Kells (1.30pm)
York Acorn v Thatto Heath Crusaders (1.30pm)

Sunday 24 January 2010

Carnegie Challenge Cup – Preliminary Round

Nottingham Outlaws v Hull University (1.30pm)
Warrington Wizards v Birmingham University (3.00pm)

Carnegie Challenge Cup – Round One

Blackwood Bulldogs v Edge Hill University (1.30pm)
British Police v Dewsbury Celtic (1.30pm)
Gloucestershire Warriors v Edinburgh Eagles (1.30pm)
Leeds Metropolitan University v Loughborough University (1.30pm)
Northumbria University v The Royal Navy (1.30pm)

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