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Wibsey Warriors face tough task to repeat run to cup final
Wibsey Warriors kick off this season’s ACE Insurance BARLA National Cup competition when they meet National Conference champions West Hull at Northfield Road on Saturday.
The Warriors, who went all the way to the final last year only to be edged out by Sharlston Rovers in a thriller at Fylde, face a tough test against an outfit who are arguably the top team at amateur level in the country.
But Wibsey coach Jason Hirst will no doubt have a trick or two up his sleeve in order to thwart the visitors.
He will also be hoping for a considerable improvement in the ground conditions to allow his classy half-back partnership of Luke Helliwell and Ryan Smith to stamp their mark on the tie.
Victoria Rangers, who have entered the competition for the first time in many years, face a formidable trip to Pennine League cup kings Queens.
Rangers have a 100 per cent record in Division Four and will welcome the opportunity to gauge their undoubted progress against Premier hosts who should not make the mistake of taking things for granted.
Bowling have prop forward Liam Martin and centre Jack Dawson back in their ranks following injury but there is a slight doubt concerning versatile play-maker Adrian Leek.
The game promises to be a barnstorming encounter, with the Harriers still searching a first win of the campaign against a side who are proving difficult to beat on home soil.
Queensbury host struggling Moorends Thorne Marauders, who are cemented in bottom spot in the Championship Division having only managed five outings so far this term.
The home side have the opportunity to improve on their scoring stats and get back on track following last week’s disappointing loss at New Earswick.
Birkenshaw also need a win as they entertain Bentley Good Companions in Championship One.
Birky, who have slipped out of the promotion stakes, should have the firepower to see off their high-scoring Doncaster visitors, who are one place below them but with games in hand.
Wyke meet Division One colleagues Doncaster Toll Bar at Towngate in the second round of the Andrew Bennett Trophy, while West Bowling A travel to Selby Warriors in the opening round of the Pennine Supplementary Cup.