HENSINGHAM will break new ground on Saturday (23 February) when they head south to Warrington for their first fixture in the Kingstone Press National Conference League.
The Cumbrian outfit visit Woolston Rovers and secretary Graham Broach admitted: “As a club and as a team we’re really excited.
“It’s probably been about 20 years since we played Woolston. There were a couple of games of real note in the early-mid 90s when both clubs were in their heyday. The first was when our U19s won the BARLA National Cup Final against Woolston in 1992, when both sides were littered with players that went on to play professional. The second was a few seasons later. Our first team was beaten by Saddleworth in the 1993 National Cup final and a year or two later Woolston knocked us out in the quarter finals.
“At that time both teams were at the top of their game, Woolston were (I think) reigning NCL Champions and went on to win it again that year, and we were sitting at the top of a very strong Cumbrian league.”
Broach continued: “There’s a real air of excitement and there’s been a buzz around the club since the announcement, but also a healthy nervousness of what’s to come.
“Every team we visit or host, for the first half of the season at least, is brand new but that’s also extremely exciting. The lads have been raring to go since we started back training and we had a good hit out against NCL Premiers Egremont Rangers last week. They gave us a good appreciation of what we are to expect as we move forward into the season; the discipline, structure and speed of play was a real step up to what we have been used to.”
He concluded: “We’ve got a good squad together for this weekend’s game and we just hope we can contain the lads until Saturday, 2.00pm!”
This week’s NCL action is entirely confined to Division Three, with the other three sections launching seven days later.
Saturday 23 February 2019
DIVISION THREE: Eastmoor Dragons v Heworth; Gateshead Storm v Oldham St Anne’s; Hunslet Warriors v Batley Boys; Leigh East v Drighlington; Millom v Waterhead Warriors; Salford City Roosters v Dewsbury Celtic; Woolston Rovers v Hensingham.
FRIENDLIES: Askam v Egremont Rangers; Bradford Dudley Hill v Farnley Falcons.