SLAITHWAITE Saracens are desperate to underline their growing status as one of Huddersfield’s most dominant amateur rugby league forces by claiming their second Holliday Cup title in three years.
In 2008 they secured a 12-0 triumph over Moldgreen and now they are looking to recapture the trophy with victory over fellow Pennine League Division I side Emley Moor in the traditional Huddersfield Amateur Rugby League Association Easter Monday showdown at Lockwood Park (11.00).
Few will be prepared to bet against a side that have been sweeping all before them in recent seasons.
A year ago, Slaithwaite claimed the Pennine League Second Division title and the Andrew Bennett Memorial Trophy for the second successive season, and the season before that they also won the Third Division title.
This season, they have virtually wrapped up the First Division title with four games to spare and next Saturday face Sharlston Rovers in the semi-final of the Pennine President’s Cup.
All this suggests Moor will simply be turning up on Bank Holiday Monday to make up the numbers!
But vastly-experienced Moor coach Pete Southwell, who has enjoyed Holliday Cup success with St Joseph’s in the past, and his side may have something to say about – as they showed in this season’s quarter-final.
That’s when Moor produced one of their best performances in years to win 34-20 at holders and Premier Division side St Joseph’s against all the odds.
And Emley Moor official Ralph Kilner knows they’ll need to rediscover that spirit to pull off another major Holliday Cup shock against the red-hot favourites.
“What Slaithwaite have been doing over the past few years has been absolutely fantastic,” he said.
“We obviously appreciate they’ll be going into the final as favourites. You just have to look at the Division I table to see that.
“But even though we’ve got a few injuries, everyone is really excited about Monday and we’re going there to give it our best shot, just like we did against St Joseph’s earlier in the competition. We’ve got some very good and vastly-experienced players in our squad and they know this is the time to rise to what will be a massive challenge.”
While Moor have several injury concerns, Slaithwaite go into the game at full-strength.
But Saracens secretary Jonathan Fell has made it clear they won’t be taking anything for granted.
“We’re going to the game feeling confident, but certainly not over-confident,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for Emley Moor, and we know we’re going to need to be at our very best to guarantee we get the right result.
“We’re expecting a tough game.”
The trophy and medals will be presented by Ian Towers, who will be the representative from sponsors Vivimed Lab Europe Ltd, formerly James Robinson’s.
Slaithwaite Saracens: Holmes, Flooks, Dunbar, Bostock, Worthington, Burkenshaw, Bahadori, Fitzpatrick, Garside, McAfferty, Lodge, Kenchington, Hawkyard, Murphy, Shaw, Mellor, Karoluck, Brooke, Wood, Crabtree.
Emley Moor: Dave Pawson, Daniel Pawson, Wilkinson, Shepherd, Rollins, Beaumont, Gedney-Higham, Davidson, J Southwell, D Southwell, Dodson, Garrity, Dalby, K Adamski, S Adamski, Bedford, Hanmer, Lang, Roebuck, Uttley, Sharpe.
Referee: Charlie Neilson.
Touchjudges: Beth Neilson and Andy Tolly.
Fourth official: Sam Ansell.