EIGHT Betfred League 1 clubs, including Oldham, will compete in the new 1895 Cup which will provide clubs outside Super League with a realistic and mouth-watering chance of playing at Wembley on Challenge Cup Final day.
Roughyeds boss Scott Naylor told fans at last Tuesday’s public forum that he was excited by the new knock-out competition even though some midweek games would put extra pressure on part-time players and their clubs.
Answering a question from lifelong fan Peter Hilton, he said Roughyeds would be going all out to take the club to Wembley for the first time — a tantalising prize that was no longer a realistic target in the Challenge Cup.
“We need a good run in the Challenge Cup for financial reasons,” said Scott. “The 1895 Cup will be different. Every club in it will be aiming to go all the way.”
Since then the RFL has confirmed that the eight League 1 clubs competing in the first round over the weekend of May 4 and 5 will be Doncaster, Hunslet, Keighley Cougars, Newcastle Thunder, OLDHAM, West Wales Raiders, Whitehaven and Workington Town.
The draw will produce four first-round ties, the winners of which will progress to round two where they will go into the hat with 12 Championship clubs, namely Barrow Raiders, Batley Bulldogs, Bradford Bulls, Dewsbury Rams, Featherstone Rovers, Halifax, Leigh Centurions, Rochdale Hornets, Sheffield Eagles, Swinton Lions, Widnes Vikings and York City Knights.
Eight winners will then progress to the quarter-finals and so on, culminating on Saturday, August 24 with the final at Wembley, played AFTER the Challenge Cup final.
The RFL will work to attract a broadcast partner to broadcast a minimum of one tie each round as well as both semi-finals and the final.
Should the broadcast partnership allow it, the RFL will broadcast live a minimum of one game from each round on the OurLeague platform plus both semi-finals and final.
If permitted, the RFL will also work with competing clubs to explore other broadcast opportunities.
There will be no prize money in the first year but gate receipts up to and including the semi-finals (but NOT in the final) will be shared in accordance with Challenge Cup rules.
Round one, Saturday, Sunday, May 4 and 5; round two, Wednesday, June 5, though clubs may mutually agree to play over the weekend of June 1 and 2; quarter-finals, Wednesday, June 26; semi-finals, Sunday, July 28; final, Saturday, August 24 (Wembley).
Monday sees the start of the last week for the purchase of 2019 season tickets. You can buy online via the Roughyeds online store; by post to Oldham RLFC, Vestacare Stadium, Whitebank Road, Limehurst Village, Oldham OL8 3JH (cheques made payable to ORLFC); or in person at the club office inside the ground, cash or cheque only.
If you are buying at the office please note that it will be open from 10am to 3pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only.