NCL ready for blast-off!

THE 2017 Kingstone Press Cider National Conference League season kicks off on Saturday (4 March) with six fixtures in each of the Premier and Second Divisions and seven games in Division Three, with the Division One campaign getting underway seven days later.

Champions Siddal launch the defence of their title with a trip to Pilkington Recs in a repeat of the recent Ladbrokes Challenge Cup tie, which the Halifax outfit won 34-10 after having trailed 10-0 at the break.

Two of the promoted sides, Skirlaugh and Thatto Heath Crusaders, square up in another repeat of a second round Challenge Cup clash, the Hull outfit having lost 30-10 last season’s Division One champions.

The other team to have risen into the top flight, Myton Warriors, entertain Egremont Rangers.

Most attention in Division Three will centre on the three teams coming into the competition. Two are returning after spells away, with Barrow Island hosting Elland and West Bowling meeting Eastmoor Dragons in Bradford.

Clock Face Miners, meanwhile, are breaking entirely new ground; the St Helens outfit travel to Stanley Rangers as they enter a new era.

A highlight of the Division Two programme is the `derby’ between Oulton Raiders and East Leeds, both of whom were relegated last time.

Saturday 4 March 2017

PREMIER DIVISION: Leigh Miners Rangers v Kells; Myton Warriors v Egremont Rangers; Pilkington Recs v Siddal; Rochdale Mayfield v Wigan St Patrick’s; Skirlaugh v Thatto Heath Crusaders; Wath Brow Hornets v West Hull.

DIVISION TWO: Drighlington v Saddleworth Rangers; Leigh East v Askam; Millom v Crosfields; Oulton Raiders v East Leeds; Salford City Reds v Bradford Dudley Hill; Thornhill Trojans v Wigan St Jude’s.

DIVISION THREE: Barrow Island v Elland; Dewsbury Celtic v Waterhead; Oldham St Anne’s v Woolston Rovers; Rylands Sharks v Gateshead Storm; Stanley Rangers v Clock Face Miners; Stanningley v Dewsbury Moor Maroons; West Bowling v Eastmoor Dragons.