It would take a brave call to predict the outcome of tonight’s James Joseph Conlan Memorial Trophy final at Huddersfield YMCA (7.00).
Finalists Meltham All Blacks (36) and Underbank Rangers (24) will both fancy their chances of securing final glory.
Under normal circumstances, Underbank would be strong favourites to triumph, having worked their way up to second in the Pennine League Second Division table, while opponents Meltham secured a mid-table Division IV finish.
But under the competition’s handicap system almost anything is possible – as the finalists showed with their semi-final successes.
Underbank’s 50-42 home win over Championship I club St Joseph’s wasn’t that big a shock, but the All Blacks’ stunning 38-18 away win at Championship side Slaithwaite Saracens certainly raised eyebrows.
Meltham were clearly helped by boasting a handicap start of 36, although to restrict their illustrious hosts to 18 points at home will give them massive confidence going into tonight’s Laund Hill showdown.
They start the final with a 12-point start against a Rangers’ side who begin on 24.
And if they can defend as well as they did against the Saracens, then Underbank will need to be at their very best to overhaul the deficit.
It promises to be an intriguing encounter.
Meltham All Blacks: Jacob Craven, Ben White, Cameron Field, Oliver Storey, Andy Farrell, Nathan Richardson, Andy Lambert, Steve Farrell, Adam Lodge, Paul Carmody, Matty Carter, Jacob Green, Ben Moorhouse, Mikey Holmes, Josh Worrall, Nathan Robinson, Ryan White, Jason Pedalty, Scott Quarmby.
Underbank Rangers: Jamie Stringer, Tom Stringer, Chris Wirth, Jack Wilson, Tom Price, Joe Bellas, Steven Woodcock, Oliver Moorhouse, Dale King, Tom Booth, Morgan Blakely, Stephen Berry, Chris Longley, Joseph Almond, Joby Ellis, Darren Southwell, David Jackson, Matthew Speight, Hedley Coldrick.
Admission: £3 adults and £2 concessions.