Mayfield head to London for the Challenge Cup

Date published: 26 January 2024

The countdown is on to Mayfield's first game of the season as they prepare to travel to West London where they face Wests Warriors in the second round of the Betfred Challenge Cup on Saturday 27 January 2024.

What a way to start the year, with a massive game in the greatest competition in rugby league. Unfortunately, Mayfield were unable to arrange a warm up game so this will be their first runout, not the ideal scenario but it's one that Sam Butterworth's side will have to deal with.

As always, a team coached by Sam Butterworth and Steve Wood will be paying more attention to their own abilities than to their oppositions and as Butterworth says: "This is a tough draw, not the best for the club, but we are going to London to get the win.

"This will be our first hit out as the weather and referee availability put paid to our plans for a warm up game. That said, the lads have been training hard, we only had a short break and they have really put in some good work through December and stepped up a gear in January.

"We will put in a big weeks prep the week before the game, and believe me when I say we will be match ready come game day. We have two of our three big signings raring to go, these are quality players, with rugby league in their blood and they have signed here for one reason, to win things and hopefully that will start on Saturday."

The signings Sam refers to are absolutely massive for Mayfield, Zac Baker, Lewis Sheridan and Sean Slater, three top quality players who will slot straight in to the Mayfield team. Sheridan is not match ready yet but is working his way back to fitness after a knee injury. On the down side, Mayfield are still without Lewis Butterworth after last season's shoulder surgery and Dec Sheridan who broke his leg for the second time in pre-season training.

Mayfield chairman Neil Ramsden says he is excited by the challenge: "Once again we are on the road, with a four hour journey. It's not a trip I'm looking forward to but I am definitely looking forward to the game and there is no doubt we will make it a cracking day out.

"We have a few quality new signings and I can't wait to get a look at how they perform in the side. Lewis Sheridan and Zac Baker learned their trade with us and are now back in the fold after their stints in the professional game.

"We also welcome Sean Slater a very promising young hooker/half back who should fit in really well with the side we have at the moment. We beat Cornwall away last season before going down to Newcastle in a game which we felt we could have won, so we have no worries about this game. We will go anywhere and play anywhere, just put a team in front of us and we will play them, whoever they are.

"Obviously as chairman, I also need to think of the logistics of the game and the financial implications. The coach alone is just short of £2,000 and we have to try and recoup that money but hopefully we will return to Rochdale with a win under our belts and the lads will put some money over the bar - the first one will be on me though."

It's no understatement to say that this is a massive game for the Rochdale club, a win away is always welcome, a win away in the challenge cup, even more so.

A good run in this competition can set you up for the season and that's what Mayfield are hoping for. If they can secure a place in Monday's third round draw Mayfield will be hoping for a big name at home as the Championship and League One clubs enter the draw.

Saturday 27 January 2024

  • Challenge Cup round two: Wests Warriors v Mayfield, kick off 2pm

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