There’s bound to be a bumper crowd this weekend at Cougar Park – potentially the biggest outside of Super League, in fact.
That’s because there’s the small matter of a mouthwatering League 1 derby between Keighley and local rivals Bradford in BD21 – where four, maybe even five, thousand people are expected to pack into the stadium to watch the two do battle.
It’s bound to be extra special too – because these two sides have not met competitively for almost three decades.
Yes, they frequently square off in pre-season friendlies – though quite how you can describe their recent meeting as friendly, given how they were four red cards, is anyone’s guess! – but a competitive fixture is a far more serious affair.
And we’ve gone back through the archives to find the last time these two sides met in a competitive fixture of any kind: and you have to go all the way back to 1989.
At that time, Bradford were a top-flight side and Keighley were playing in the second division – giving their pairing in the Regal Trophy extra spice.
Although the final result went to form, with Bradford emerging 38-10 winners, there was certainly no shortage of incidents at Odsal – with the same likely again this weekend, you expect!
Bradford’s Welsh winger, Gerald Cordle, grabbed the post-match headlines following a four-try haul which helped Northern ultimately win 38-10, but the big talking point came after just four minutes of the game, when Keighley’s Mark Fairbank was sent off for an off-the-ball incident.
Keighley did register tries through Peter Richardson and Owen Simpson, but Cordle’s four tries – along with further scores from Graham Mackay, Steve McGowan, Ian Wilkinson and Richard Francis – were enough for Bradford to progress to round two of the competition, where they were eventually beaten by another local rival in Leeds.
Only 3,260 were at Odsal on that Sunday afternoon in December to watch the last competitive meeting between the sides.. you suspect there will be more than that at Cougar Park this weekend to catch the latest instalment in this fantastic rivalry.
3rd December 1989 – Regal Trophy Round One
Bradford Northern 38-10 Keighley
Bradford tries: Cordle (4), Wilkinson, McGowan, Francis, Mackay. Goals: Hobbs (3)
Keighley tries: Richardson, Simpson. Goals: Dixon (1)
Referee: Alan Burke