Rugby League

1895 Cup

29 Feb 2024

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Preview | Quarter Finals

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Preview | Quarter Finals

The Quarter Final ties of the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup are underway this weekend, as a date at Rugby League’s Wembley Stadium Finals Day is closely on the horizon for two teams. In with this chance are seven of the Betfred Championship clubs, plus Betfred League One’s Oldham, as they are now just two wins from Wembley...

Inaugural winners Sheffield Eagles have been drawn against last year’s beaten finalists Batley Bulldogs in what is set to be a thrilling tie. Both sides come into this game on the back of top spot finishes in the group stages – the Eagles having secured a must-win victory over Midlands Hurricanes and a derby victory over Doncaster, and Batley beating Hunslet and Featherstone to earn a deserved place in the quarter-finals.

The Eagles completed the double over the Bulldogs last season – a comfortable 36-0 win in Round 3, before a 6-49 demolition in the reverse leg. They have also previously met in the 1895 Cup before, back in 2019’s semi-final, in which Sheffield triumphed 18-2. Mark Aston’s men then went on to win the 1895 Cup in its maiden year, with their playmaker Anthony Thackeray snapping up the Ray French Award for the first time. And the Championship stalwart could be one to watch in this all-Yorkshire encounter, having scored tries in the past four matches against Batley. Both sides know what it means to play at Wembley, but which side will get there in the 1895 Cup for a second time?

Meanwhile, Bradford play hosts to an unbeaten Swinton Lions side at Odsal, in what could be a close and unpredictable contest. A thriving Swinton will be looking to reach their second semi-final in 1895 Cup history, having reached one in 2021, and will come into this game with momentum on the back of a remarkable 1895 Cup campaign and a Challenge Cup Fourth Round victory against Oldham.

Bradford, however, suffered a disappointing Challenge Cup defeat last Sunday against Widnes on home soil, so will no doubt be looking to right their wrongs this weekend. But with one less cup competition to worry about, the focus of Eamon O’Carroll’s men can now fully turn to the 1895 Cup, with the Bulls boasting a better winning record against Swinton in recent times. The Lions haven’t beaten Bradford in the league since 2017, but could they finally strike back with a place in the semi-finals at stake?

Sunday’s third quarter-final tie will see York Knights take on Sean Long's Oldham at the LNER Community Stadium. York head into this game having finished as the best second placed team, whereas Oldham are left to fly the flag for League One, having now equalled Doncaster’s record of becoming the furthest a League One team has progressed in this cup competition - as they feature in this weekend’s quarter-finals. 

There isn't much to separate these two sides in their last ten meetings, although they haven't gone head to head since 2021. With new faces and changes to both teams in recent years and especially this season, it's hard to predict who will come out on the top.

On Saturday, 1895 Cup debutants Wakefield Trinity host Barrow Raiders on home soil, as both sides are just two wins away from a day at legendary Wembley. Barrow, the last representatives of Cumbria in this competition, will be relishing the challenge as they return to action and travel to the DIY Kitchens Stadium for this highly-anticipated cup tie. The Raiders featured in their first 1895 Cup semi-final in 2022, so will be looking to reach this stage once again. Can they overcome a dominant Trinity outfit? Daryl Powell's men have been unstoppable so far in 2024, as they look to continue their mission of achieving a long-awaited Wembley appearance...

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Quarter-Finals ties:

  • Wakefield Trinity v Barrow Raiders (Saturday 2 March, K.O. 3pm)
  • Sheffield Eagles v Batley Bulldogs (Sunday 3 March, K.O. 3pm)
  • Bradford Bulls v Swinton Lions (Sunday 3 March, K.O. 3pm)
  • York Knights v Oldham (Sunday 3 March, K.O. 3pm)

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Semi-Finals draw (fixtures to be played on Sunday 12 May):

  • Bradford Bulls or Swinton Lions v Wakefield Trinity or Barrow Raiders 
  • York Knights or Oldham v Sheffield Eagles or Batley Bulldogs  


The AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final (KO 5.45pm) is part of a Finals Day triple-header at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 8 June, alongside the finals of the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup (KO 11.45am) and Men's 2024 Betfred Challenge Cup Final (KO 3pm). Plus, there will be the traditional Year 7 Boys’ Champion Schools Final at 10am. Tickets are available online now from only £15 Adults and £7.50 Under 16s, with family packages also available starting from just £18.75 for one Adult and two Under 16s.  

Photo Credit: Barrow Raiders and Bradford Bulls