Rugby League

1895 Cup

4 Mar 2024

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Review | Quarter Finals

AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Review | Quarter Finals

Four Betfred Championship clubs find themselves just 80 minutes away from a dream Wembley appearance, following four action-packed AB Sundecks 1895 Cup quarter-final ties at the weekend. Wakefield, Bradford, Sheffield and York all line up as this year’s respective semi-finalists. 

Saturday saw a tough battle take place between Wakefield and Barrow, as the Raiders brought their expansive kicking game to the West Yorkshire city and truly tested the Trinity side. And although Daryl Powell’s men went 12-0 up inside the first ten minutes, there was no time for complacency, as Barrow persisted and made life hard for the Trinity outfit in what unfolded as a gutsy and at times sloppy affair in extremely wet conditions. 

Come the 53rd minute and Barrow were on the scoresheet through their debutant Max Anderson-Moore out wide after a string of quick passes from his team-mates - taking the scores to 18-6. A fourth try then gave Trinity some much-needed breathing space, as Renouf Atoni crashed over for his second of the afternoon, but Barrow continued to hit back again through Anderson-Moore as he collected a kick over the top of the defence to go over for a brace. 

It would be Trinity youngster Harvey Smith who would finally seal a victory for the home side, as he produced some stunning show and go from dummy half - a promising glimpse of the future, taking his side within one match of Wembley’s Finals Day. Barrow, on the other hand, can bow out of the competition proud of their efforts, in what was a hard fought contest. 

And the competitive nature continued through to Sunday when Bradford played hosts to Swinton Lions in a tight and nail-biting encounter. The Bulls went 9-6 up at the break courtesy of Chester Butler crashing over to score and Jordan Lilley slotting over a drop goal to edge his side in front. This was before Lilley himself twisted and turned to score early on in the second half to put Bradford further ahead, but the Lions hit back through Dan Abram to set up a nervy last ten minutes. 

Kieran Gill came up with the scintillating match-winner for Bradford with one minute from time, as Eamon O’Carroll’s men find themselves in their first ever 1895 Cup semi-final, whilst the Lions were consigned to their first defeat of 2024. 

And there was another quarter-final thriller over at the Olympic Legacy Park, as Sheffield made it one step closer to Wembley after a 26-10 win over Batley. The first forty saw Mark Aston’s men take a narrow lead 12-6 courtesy of tries from Ben Jones Bishop and Joe Farrell, but the Bulldogs would hit back to make it an eight point gap with just eight minutes to go. 

In a tense finale, Jack Hansen for the hosts capitalised on a loose Batley ball and raced away to score under the sticks, sending the home crowd into raptures and cementing a semi-final spot for the inaugural 1895 Cup winners. 

York will also make up the last four, as they triumphed in a 46-12 victory over League One’s Oldham. The Knights proved too strong on Sunday afternoon for Sean Long’s men, who were the only remaining third tier side, as York dominated the first half and worked up a comfortable 34-6 lead heading into the break. Tries from Myles Harrison, Liam Harris, a brace from Will Dagger, as well as two tries from Richie Myler on his 400th career appearance made a clear statement of intent at the LNER Community Stadium. 

But there was little to separate the two sides in the second half, as Oldham only conceded twice and managed a late consolation try through Owen Farnworth. The final result ended 46-12, as York produced a remarkable display. 

With the semi-finalists confirmed, the promises to be two blockbuster ties coming up in May, but which two teams will make it to the final? 


AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-finals (to be played 11/12 May): 

Bradford Bulls v Wakefield Trinity

York Knights v Sheffield Eagles

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: Sheffield Eagles