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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Green light for big west Cumbrian Challenge Cup clash

West Cumbria’s big Challenge Cup clash between Kells and Egremont Rangers has been re-arranged for next Tuesday under the floodlights at Whitehaven’s Recreation Ground (7.30pm) – and this time it will definitely go ahead.

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Egremont’s Richard Farrer, who was voted the division’s Player of the Month for October

The highly-anticipated clash between the Cumberland League champs and Egremont, the National Conference high-fliers, had initially been set for October 27.

But Rangers have faced a lengthy fixture backlog and the clubs will finally meet at the fourth time of asking next week.

Officially, it is a home match for Whitehaven outfit Kells, though the Recre hosted Egremont for a spell over the summer while Gillfoot Park was unavailable, and both should be well-supported on the night.

Egremont spokesman Daemon Ireland stressed that the club would not be thinking about the cup game until after tomorrow’s league visit of Wigan St Judes.

Rangers lie fifth in a congested upper half of the table, but a win against the Wigan outfit will see the Cumbrians take the Division One title and earn promotion to the amateur game’s top-flight, where they would face neighbours Wath Brow next term.

Defeat tomorrow would mean another season in the second tier for John Brocklebank’s side, whose tails are up after a sparkling run of wins, culminating in ex-Town and Haven prop Richard Farrer being named the division’s player of the month for October.

And there is a sense of anticipation at the club going in to their biggest game of the year.

“The lads are excited,” Ireland said. “Richard Farrer and Mally Caton have been driving the team forward, and over the last five or six weeks, Richard has been outstanding.

“John has been using him sparingly, bringing him on for 20/25 minutes and he has been tearing teams apart.

“Alistair Leak has gone back to university and we have missed him a bit, but all the lads are up for it. We beat St Judes down there and I just think we maybe have too much for them up here, where hopefully our crowd will be a big factor.”

Under-strength Egremont remained on course for glory with a 48-12 home win over Rochdale Mayfield last week, when young winger Pat Wells scored on his debut.

Amateur international John Paul Brocklebank continued to impress with a personal 20-point haul from two tries and six goals.

“If there’s a better amateur in the game, I’ve yet to see him. He is outstanding,” added Ireland.

The hosts go in tomorrow as hot favourites against mid-table St Judes, who have won 15 of their 25 league outings, though there is likely to be little in the odds between Egremont and Kells next week.

“We will cross that bridge when we come to it,” Ireland cautioned.

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