Bentley ARLFC hit Challenge Cup trail

Bentley ARLFC are hoping to make more memories in the Betfred Challenge Cup when they tackle Stanningley on Sunday (2pm).

Friday, 14th January 2022, 10:30 am
Bentley ARLFC hit the Challenge Cup trail again this weekend.

The ambitious club reached the third round of the world famous knockout competition in 2020.

Covid prevented amateur clubs from participating in last year’s shortened competition – so there is understandable excitement and anticipation as Bentley gear up for this weekend’s first round tie.

“Everyone’s in good spirits,” said head coach Andy Whitfield. “It’s going to be a big 12 months for us this year. We’ve got a lot going on – on and off the field.

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“Everyone’s up for it. The lads have been training hard and we’re looking forward to it. They love playing in the Challenge Cup.

“The first year we played the Army at home and it was a brilliant atmosphere. There was a big crowd there and it meant a lot to the lads to get the win.

“We’ve been in the competition a few times now and it’s one of their big aims when we start the season. We reached the third round in 2020 and it was just a shame that Covid happened – obviously for everyone and not just us as a club – because we were in a really good place then.

"We’d had a really good run in the cup, we were looking sharp, we were up for the season ahead and then bang they cancelled it.

“Last season started late but we managed to get quite a few games in,” he added.

“We got beat in the Yorkshire League Premier Division play-off final but we did all right. It was a strange season, there was a few games called off but we managed to play 80 per cent of them.”

Bentley’s players are under no illusions about the size of the task ahead of them if they are to emulate their exploits of two years ago.

National Conference League Division One outfit Stanningley will provide tough opposition and a trip to Featherstone Lions or Hunslet Club Parkside - two more established NCL outfits - awaits the winners in the second round.

"Stanningley have got a good pedigree,” said Whitfield. “They’ve been a good club for a number of years and produce a lot of players for Super League. They’re a well respected club in the rugby league community.”

Bentley themselves will make the step up to the NCL later this year.

“We just felt it was the right time,” said Whitfield. “We’ve been up there and been to finals in the Yorkshire League over the last five or six years and we’ve got to keep challenging ourselves.

“Let’s push on and have a go at it and try and progress the club as a whole. We’re in a good place at the moment.

“Predominantly it’s the same group of lads here but we’ve attracted a couple more from the area who fancy a run in the NCL,” he added.

“We’ve also got what was last year’s under 16s who have come through into the squad for the first and second team. They’re a good bunch, they’re really keen and it’s given everybody a lift.”

Sunday’s tie will be played at Wheatley Hills RUFC. Entry is £2.50.

The match will also be streamed live at rugby-league.com/ourleague.