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12th March 2018, 14:43 | ChallengeCup
Pilkington Recs first team coach John Rees believes his side have what it takes to reach the fifth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup when they travel to face Betfred League 1 side Coventry Bears on Sunday March 18 (KO 3.00pm).
Playing in the National Conference League Division 1, Pilkington are the lowest ranked team remaining in this year’s competition and previously reached the fourth round in 2016 where they fell to a 0-78 defeat to Championship side Halifax.
However, Rees is confident of an improved performance in this year’s fixture and thinks there is a real chance his side can progress.
“There isn’t much in it between some of the NCL sides and League 1 teams and Coventry aren’t up at the top of that division so we’re hoping for a really competitive game on Saturday,” said Rees.
“We got through to the fourth round a couple of years ago against Halifax and to be honest, it was just a day out for us but there’s a real opportunity here and the players are excited.
“We’re quietly confident that we can get a closer result than Distington did against Coventry in the previous round, we’re going out there to try and get the win.”
As one of only three community clubs remaining in this year’s Challenge Cup, Rees also expressed how important the competition is for the grassroots game.
He continued, “If we go back two years when we reached the fourth round previously, the interest in the club from external people was definitely a boost.
“We also played against London Skolars at our home ground in 2016 and managed to draw a crowd of over 800, which is massive financially for any community side.
“Without the Challenge Cup we wouldn’t get the chance to play against bigger sides and the BBC Coverage is pushing the profile of the community game even more and it’s great because I personally believe they’re the most competitive leagues there are.”
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