Saddleworth Rangers’s unbeaten first team have the chance of silverware when they take on Rochdale Mayfield in the final of the Standard Cup on Friday, March 25.
The club’s 18-10 semi-final win at Waterhead secured a place in the showcase at Oldham Rugby Union.
Rangers have not won the cup since beating Folly Lane in 2011 with Premier Division side Mayfield dominating the competition in recent seasons, including a big win over Rangers last year, and joint coach Craig Farrimond expects it to be tough again.
“We let ourselves down in the final last year but we took them to extra time later in the Conference Trophy later in the season, just losing to a drop goal,” he said.
“This time we’ll be full strength and full of confidence after the start we’ve had. Local bragging rights are at stake and we owe them one.”
Craig continued: “To win would be a great boost for the whole club, especially after the way it’s backed me and Geener and the lads following last year’s relegation.”
The last time we won the Standard Cup in 2011 (Photo courtesy of the Oldham Evening Chronicle)
The match kicks off at 11.45am with a Masters game beforehand, starting at 10.45am.
Afterwards the players will return to the clubhouse at Shaw Hall Bank Road, hopefully to celebrate with cup in hand.
And the club is reviving an old tradition as the club and bar will be open from 1pm and all are invited to come down to watch live Super League on the big screen, beginning with Hull derby featuring Rangers’ very own James Greenwood, followed by brother Joe as St Helen’s take on Wigan from 3.15pm.
If you’re in Rangers’s clubhouse you’ll see we have a rich history in the competition. There’s now a new ‘Standard Cup Glory’ section on the wall next to the bar showcasing a few great days of the past and highlights how successful Rangers have been in the cup over the decades.
Rangers have won the trophy more times than any other club, playing in 34 finals since our first appearance in 1932 and emerging victorious in 20.
Emmerson Jackman is one of only two players to win the Ben Powell Trophy twice as Man of the Match, after victories in 2003 and 2008.
Meanwhile, Dave Cassells has played for Rangers in more Standard Cup finals than any other player, appearing in ten during in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
For decades the final was played in front of thousands at Watersheddings with the victors celebration photograph being taken on the pavilion steps. Tradition was then that the crowds and the players would make their way down the hill to town on a legendary pub crawl.
In recent years the location has changed and there aren’t as many watching but club pride is still on the line when players walk onto the pitch to face their local rivals.
We hope to see you down there on Good Friday.