HUDDERSFIELD Irish Centre will be warm favourites to retain the Rollinson Cup when they meet Marsh Lib in tomorrow’s final at YMCA’s Laund Hill (11.00).
Paul Quinn’s side are still wrestling with a big fixture backlog in the Sunday League and have already been denied the chance of a repeat treble, having lost to Golcar Con in the Challenge Cup.
That has made the pursuit of a Rollinson and League title double even more intense and they pick from a strong squad of 21 for tomorrow’s showpiece, which will be refereed by John Wozniak.
Keeper Jacob Giles, the former Town junior, and the Bay Athletic back four have been rocks for Irish Centre, while there’s plenty of creativity in midfield and Kieran Ryan – from Golcar United’s Saturday ranks – is bang in form up front.
“This season has been very positive and very good,” said clubman Chris Helliwell. “Paul has done a very good job with the lads since taking over last season and, generally speaking, the team have matured nicely over recent years.
“I think we are probably the best football-playing side in the town at the moment and, while we have a lot of fixtures to make up, we have a big squad to select from and we are very much focusing on trying to complete a double, the first leg of which is this final.”
While Irish, with their run to the Carlsberg National Sunday Cup quarter-finals still fresh in the memory, will be looking to perform with their usual organisation and fluency, they will come up against determined opposition from the Lib.
Andy Morris’s side have improved as a team this season and a Rollinson final appearance is just reward for their efforts.
They will prove no pushover, as Morris explained.
“Irish Centre are talented and well-organised and, head-to-head, they have beaten us twice in the league this season,” he said.
“We will be the underdogs to lift cup, but we will not be turning up to make up the numbers.
“If we can defend well and implement a high level of determination and skill throughout the game, we have every chance of winning.”
Huddersfield Irish Centre – Ashe, Giles, Sykes, Brown (T), Jaggar (N), Williams, Higgins, Brown (S), Martin, Waller, Bell, Buckley, Jaggar (M), Quinn, Perrin, Wright, Wilson, Flynn (A), Flynn (JP), Ryan, Henighan.
Marsh Lib – Heywood, Hirst, Chahal, Roys (B), Roys (D), Thompson, Morris, Robinson, Callaghan, Inman, Stratford, Trowell, Dyson, Williams, Beaumont, Donnelly, Calvert. Manager - Andy Morris.
Referee – John Wozniak.