Four Betfred Championship sides will fight it out this weekend for the opportunity to grace the hallowed turf at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 17 July as part of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final.
York City Knights, Swinton Lions, Featherstone Rovers and Widnes Vikings earned their spots in this year’s Semi-Finals with victories in Round One and Round Two of the Betfred Challenge Cup. Both Semi-Finals will be broadcast live on Our League with 2pm and 4pm kick-offs.
York City Knights welcome Swinton Lions to the LNER Community Stadium in Sunday’s first 1895 Cup Semi Final.
The Knights only-ever appearance at Wembley Stadium came in the 1931 Challenge Cup Final. However, York would fall to a 22-8 loss to Halifax and have failed to find their way to Wembley since.
Swinton enjoyed success in the early years of the Challenge Cup winning the competition in 1900, 1925 and 1927 whilst also being two times runners-up. However, none of these Final appearances came at Wembley Stadium with their 1932 Final defeat to Leeds taking place at Wigan’s Central Park in-between the midst of the first run of finals at Wembley Stadium prior to the Second World War.
Stuart Littler’s men have failed to win any of their opening eight fixtures in this year’s Betfred Championship and will need to turn their fortunes if they are to progress to the 1895 Cup Final. Swinton’s only wins in 2021 have come in the 1895 Cup against Newcastle Thunder and Oldham.
York currently stand 6th in the Betfred Championship with four wins and four losses in the league so far this season. James Ford’s side suffered a 37-18 loss in their last league outing against Bradford Bulls but had previously enjoyed back-to-back victories against Widnes and Oldham. The Knights knocked current 1895 Cup holders Sheffield Eagles out of the competition in mid-March.
The second Semi-Final sees Featherstone Rovers – who memorably won at Wembley in the Challenge Cup Final back in 1983 – face the former ‘Cup Kings’ Widnes Vikings.
Featherstone have three Challenge Cup triumphs at Wembley Stadium while each of the Vikings’ Challenge Cup Final victories came at the old Wembley, with the most recent after a 19-6 victory over Wigan Warriors.
James Webster’s Featherstone head into this weekend’s Semi-Final with a perfect record of seven wins from seven outings in the Betfred Championship having scored 262 points and conceding just 76.
As for Widnes, they have endured a mixed start to the 2021 season, currently sitting 7th in the Betfred Championship, however they come into Sunday’s Semi-Final on the back of consecutive dominant victories against Whitehaven and Oldham.
AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Semi-Finals:
Sunday 6 July
York City Knights v Swinton Lions - 2pm - Live on Our League
Featherstone Rovers v Widnes Vikings - 4pm - Live on Our League