Lane and Lions aim for Challenge Cup glory

Lock Lane coach Paul Couch: "I am really pleased with how the pre-season has gone." Picture: Matthew Merrick.
Lock Lane coach Paul Couch: "I am really pleased with how the pre-season has gone." Picture: Matthew Merrick.

Featherstone Lions host Queens and Lock Lane are home to Sharlston Rovers in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup first round on Saturday.

Sharlston’s trip to Lock Lane Sports Arena (2pm kick-off) is expected to attract a bumper crowd, with two of the area’s strongest teams locking horns in an eagerly-awaited showdown.

A big crowd is also expected at Mill Pond Stadium for the clash of last season’s National Conference League Division Three champions Lions and Leeds team Queens who recently lost to Drighlington in the Yorkshire Cup final.

Lock Lane’s head coach Paul Couch is happy with his side’s preparations for Saturday’s game.

“I’m really pleased with how the pre-season has gone,” he said.

“Our success in the National Conference Premier Division play-offs, where we were narrowly beaten by Siddal, has meant the close season was shorter than we would have liked from an off-season training perspective but the squad have learned so much from the promising season last year.

“We have retained the nucleus of last season’s side and added a few new faces who I’m looking forward to working with. The strength in depth they will add to the side will make us stronger in a few areas.

“Lewis Price and Richard Humphries have both joined from Featherstone Rovers while a few players from our promising youth development structures will also be stepping up to first team duties which is a huge positive from the club’s perspective.

“The lads had a good testing run out on Saturday at Featherstone Lions against a very strong home side which resulted in a 31-14 victory.

“I was really pleased with a lot of things that came out of the game.

“This weekend we have a very exciting game when we entertain Sharlston Rovers who are coached by a very good coach in Gordie Long and the lads won’t be taking the game lightly.

“We need to be on top of our game in a fixture which will be an excellent test,” added Couch.

Meanwhile,Methley Royals have applied to rejoin the Yorkshire Mens League’s Merit League.

The Royals’ A team operated in the flexible summer competition a couple of years ago and the league is seen as an ideal means of enabling the promising youngsters at the club to progress.

Anyone interested in playing for the side should contact Phil Hodgson on 077 8698 0909.

Delegates are reminded that the next Castleford and Featherstone ARL meeting is at Glasshoughton WMC next Tuesday (7.30pm).