KNOWING that winning the Yorkshire Shield can ultimately lead to an appearance at HQ, it is difficult to think of the local competitions without thinking of Twickenham.

Bradford Salem have been there three times inside 30 years, winning the Provincial Insurance Cup in its inaugural season of 1990-91 and defending it the following season - amazingly against the same club.

Salem defeated Bicester, from Oxfordshire, 12-6 in 1991 and 17-12 in 1992, but have known the agony of Twickenham defeat as well, losing to Northwich 18-13 in the first season of the RFU Senior Vase in 2006-07.

Neil Klenk, chairman of Bradford Salem, said: "I am sure that it wasn't in the organisers' mind that the same two clubs would reach the final two years in a row from a field of 512 but that was testament to the strength of ourselves and Bicester.

"The competition was exciting for us as it gave us the chance to play against different clubs rather than the same old, same old and it gave us some of our most memorable trips, such as to Manor Park in Staffordshire and playing Bracknell at Nottingham and Leos at Headingley in the semi-finals, with the latter match being refereed by Fred Howard in front of 3-4,000.

"The competition gave our profile a huge boost as all the national papers were interested in the first Provincial Insurance Cup, whereas interest had waned a bit by the second year.

"We were the curtain-raiser in the Northwich match to a day that ended with Leicester Tigers facing Ospreys in the Anglo-Welsh Cup so we were part of a huge occasion.

"We have also known the pain of losing a national semi-final - to Old Alleynians in Dulwich in 2003."

Klenk added: "I know that there is a consultation meeting next month about making 12-team leagues (Yorkshire Division One currently has 14 teams), but if they do that I hope that they bring back more meaningful national cup competitions such as we had back in the day."

At the moment the white-rose competitions are a passage to a tilt at Twickenham the following season, rather than in the same season as happened to Salem in 1991, 1992 and 2007.

Salem are in quarter-final Shield action tomorrow at home to Malton & Norton, who play a division above the hosts in North One East.

Klenk said: "We have played them many times in league matches but we turned over Pocklington from the same division in the last round so there is no reason why we cannot beat Malton & Norton."

Salem, who are without Max Trueman (brother of Castleford Tigers player Jake), who has gone to Australia to play rugby league, have injury doubts over Jack Payne and Jordan Ashworth.