Rugby League: Kells v Mayfield in the Challenge Cup
Date published: 25 January 2019
Aidan Gleeson and Dec Sheridan, Mayfield
It’s a big day on Saturday for Rochdale Mayfield as they make the long journey north through Cumbria to take on Kells in the newly sponsored Coral Challenge Cup.
After a great showing last week against Hornets in which several of the Mayfield side shone it's now down to serious business with a competitive fixture.
The new Mayfield coaching team of Sam Butterworth and assistant Steve Wood are chomping at the bit to get going and see how far the team has come after training through the winter.
They both know that the Hornets game was a great tester for them, but they also know that it was just a run out for both sides to gauge where they were in terms of readiness for the season.
The game will be completely different, and the coaches appreciate that last week’s showing will bear little on the outcome.
Mayfield go into the game in a confident mood off the back of that game and Butterworth and Wood know only too well how much it means to have an air of confidence in a side.
Confidence alone though won’t be enough, and the team will have to show the same determination and resilience, as well as an improved discipline, if they are to come through.
The two sides met twice in the league last season with Mayfield taking the spoils home and away.
It was nip and tuck for these two in the push to retain premier division status with both managing to stay up at the final bell with only points difference between them.
It could be the forwards that hold the key for the game and if they perform like they did against Hornets Mayfield will be a tough side to beat.
There was a toughness about the pack in that game that has been missing for a while and it really rocked the Hornets side almost causing an upset.
Mark Biggins, Si Moore, Aidy Gleeson, Callum Marriott and James Connaughton were superb, punching holes in the opposition line allowing chances for the likes of Cole and Cameron Connelly, John Foy and Zac Hartley, who impressed with his kicking game as well.
The coaches have a strong squad to select from with only Cameron Connelly and Liam Whalley unavailable.
They also welcome Callum Ogden back into the squad after a spell at Batley.
Butterworth is relishing the prospect of the game saying: “It will be tough, as it always is in Cumbria, Kells are a good side and have strengthened in the closed season so we know we will be up against it but if we build on the Hornets performance we are capable of claiming the spoils and progressing to the next round.
“I know this is a long trip, but it has been a good one for us in recent years, Kells are a great club and they have a great set of lads, so we always enjoy this one.”
Mayfield chairman Simon Howe was delighted this week as another player made the step up to the pro game.
Matthew Chrimes has signed a one-year deal at Doncaster after impressing as a trialist over the past few weeks.
Simon Howe said: “Matthew is a great lad and has earned his spot at Doncaster the hard way, by putting in some cracking 80-minute shifts.
“There's no hiding on a rugby pitch and he knows that, he has gone out and given it his all, and for that he has reaped the rewards.
“Matthew Chrimes is the third Mayfield player to sign pro in recent weeks after Matty Ashton at Swinton and last year’s club captain Paul Brearley at Batley.
“These lads will all be sorely missed at the club especially on the field, but everyone involved at Mayfield wishes them all the best for the future and really hope that they have long and prosperous careers in the game.”
The game at Kells kicks off at 2.00pm to allow for extra time if needed.
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