Local bragging rights are up for grabs when holders Newsome Panthers take on Almondbury Spartans in the final of the Holliday Cup on Friday (November 24).
The clash, which comes right at the end of the season, is a repeat of last year’s final which the Panthers won 30-10.
Newsome are clear favourites and are bidding for a hat-trick of trophies after winning the Yorkshire Men’s League Premier Division Grand Final and the Yorkshire Cup.
However, Spartans have a plan and are determined to make a game of it with local pride at stake.
It’s a month since the season ended and Newsome coach Ritchie Hawkyard said: “We’ve had to wait a bit to get the fixture in but it’ll be a good game with local pride at stake.
“We have beaten them already this season but that won’t count for anything on Friday night and they will want to put one over on us.”
Newsome went through last season unbeaten but promotion to the Premier Division has meant a tougher campaign this time around.
The Panthers lost three matches and finished second in the league behind Fryston Warriors. However, the Panthers edged out the Warriors 20-18 to lift the Grand Final trophy.
“We’ve had another good season but it’s been a long season,” said Hawkyard. “We had a few injuries and the Premier Division is very competitive. You have to be on it in every game and that probably took its toll on us.”
Spartans coach Craig Morgan has kept his players on the go and wants his side to push Newsome all the way.
“We are under no illusions,” he said. “Newsome are a top side and they are the champions. We go into this as massive underdogs but we have a plan and every dog has its day!
“We were in three finals last year and were league champions in Division One and going into last year’s Holliday Cup final we were all a bit exhausted.
“Since the season ended we’ve been training for this game and this is the one for us. I’ve told the players to leave it all on the pitch, that’s the mindset. And we want to play rugby with a smile on our faces. It should be a great occasion.”
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.