Dave Pawson wants to end a 21-year rugby career by lifting the Holliday Cup for only the second time.
Dave, 38, is turning out once again for Almondbury Spartans who are very much underdogs against holders Newsome Panthers.
The Panthers comfortably beat the Spartans in last year’s Holliday Cup final but Dave has a feeling this year could be different.
“It’s going to be my last game and I’ve never wanted to win a game as much in my life,” said Dave. “I have a really good feeling about it.”
The final is being played tonight (Friday November 24) at 7pm at Laund Hill and the Spartans have been focused on ending the season in style.
The Holliday Cup is very much the Huddersfield cup final and one all Huddersfield players want to win.
Dave has had a chequered history in the competition. His first final for Emley Moor against Newsome was as a 17-year-old – and it ended early with a broken nose.
He’s won it only once – with Underbank Rangers – and said he’s got more than enough losers’ medals. He doesn’t want another!
“The Holliday Cup is really special and if it is to be my last game – which I know I keep saying and then I get asked to play again – then I want to go out in style,” he said.
“We had a meeting the other night and the things the lads were saying made me think there just might be an upset.”
Newsome went through last season unbeaten and were dubbed the “invincibles.” This season just gone they’ve lost three times but still finished as Grand Final winners. They also won the Yorkshire Cup and are going for a hat-trick of trophies.
Almondbury’s Andy Lambert is another player, like Dave, who is on the brink of hanging up his boots but finds he keeps being pulled back.
He thought last year’s Division 1 championship win would be a good time to bow out but he has played a few games this season in the Premier Division and it’s a case of ‘never say never.’
“I’m sure my wife would like me to say I’m retiring again after this weekend but at the moment I just don’t know.
“Because I haven’t played so much this year I am just concentrating on Friday night and whatever happens after that happens.”
Dave described rugby as an “addiction but a good addiction” and Andy agrees. “I don’t know when to put the ball down,” he grinned.
Spartans are ready to give it a real go and Andy added: “It’s a big match to decide who are the kings of Huddersfield.
“Newsome are a very good side and we are looking forward to getting into them. It should be a great game.”
The final is played at Laund Hill Stadium, HD3 3XF, on Friday November 24 (7.00). Adults £3, concessions £2 and under-16s are free.