The North East RL Challenge Cup Final on Saturday (10 July) pits reigning champions Wallsend Eagles against Cramlington Rockets.
Cramlington go into the game, at Newcastle Thunder’s Kingston Park, riding high at the head of the North East League with a 100 per cent winning record in five outings.
Rockets chairman Jeff Ball said: “We have hit the ground running this season and while no one is counting their eggs just yet, it marks a step up for the first team squad at a club known for developing talent, with a number of former juniors part of the Thunder Academy and even featuring in the Betfred Championship this season.”
He continued: “The current squad is mainly made up of local players that have come up through the ranks, alongside a number of players who have featured for the likes of Northumbria University, the UK’s leading university side, in recent years.
“Such as Fraser Boldy, Joe Capless and Jake Woods have all represented their country at junior or academic levels, while the return of Michael Mitchell from National Conference side Gateshead Storm has further strengthened the side.
“There’s a lot of talent in this team and what is so exciting is that it is still a young side. Our average age is about 23, and a lot of these players have been challenging at the top of the North East competition for several years now, coming close to silverware but not quite made it yet.
“That experience will be a big driver for the side and while this season has been good so far, our coaches Jordan Robinson and Danny Gilroy will ensure no one is resting on their laurels.”
Wallsend are in the decider courtesy of a 24-18 semi-final success over Edinburgh Eagles side and Ball added: “It is great that the game is at Kingston Park, which is a tremendous facility. We are hoping for a really big crowd to make it a real occasion.”
Admission is free and tickets can be booked via eticketing.co.uk/newcastle-falcons. Seating is unreserved, although attendee details are required for `track and trace’.
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.