Three amateur clubs to compete in 1895 Cup, final to kick-off at midday

The 1895 Cup will welcome three community clubs from the National Conference League Premier Division this year.

The NCL champions West Hull will join York Acorn and Underbank Rangers – who are both still alive and kicking in the Challenge Cup – in the first round draw which will be held in Cumbria on March 18.

They will be joined by five clubs from League 1, all in the knowledge that four wins would secure a trip to Wembley on July 18 – Barrow Raiders, Doncaster, Keighley Cougars, Newcastle Thunder and Rochdale Hornets.

As last year, the 12 Championship clubs who have entered the competition have been given a bye to the second round, where they will be joined by the four first round winners – and this year the second round draw will also be held on March 18.

The first round ties are scheduled for the weekend of April 18-19, with the eight second round ties to be played in midweek, in the week starting April 27.

The quarter-finals will be played in the week starting May 11, with both semi-finals on June 7 – and the final again at Wembley Stadium on Challenge Cup final day (July 18), but this year being played ahead of the Challenge Cup final, with a midday kick-off.

1895 Cup first round

Barrow, Doncaster, Keighley, Newcastle, Rochdale, Underbank Rangers, West Hull, York Acorn.

1895 second round

Four first round winners plus Batley, Bradford, Dewsbury, Featherstone, Halifax, Leigh, Oldham, Sheffield, Swinton, Whitehaven, Widnes, York.

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