4th September 2019, 08:53 | harry_jepson_trophy
Hemel Stags’ Pennine Way Stadium will be the venue this Sunday (8 September, 2.30pm) for the 23rd Harry Jepson Trophy Final – and it promises to be one of the best yet.
It’s Midlands against London, with Mansfield-based area champions Sherwood Wolf Hunt up against the Wests Warriors A.
The Londoners overcame East region champions Brentwood Eels 28-2 in last weekend’s semi-final in what on paper seems a comfortable victory. Far from it! The teams turned around at half time with only four points separating them and it was late in the game before the Warriors booked their place in this weekend’s final.
In their semi-final, Sherwood Wolf Hunt travelled to Gloucester to take on South West champions Devon Sharks at the home of the All Golds. The Wolf Hunt were good value for their 16-4 half-time lead and, although the Bovey Tracey side were competitive throughout, the Midlands champions always maintained a healthy advantage and eventually ran out winners by 48-24.
The RFL’s competition manager for the community game, David Raybould, says:
“Two of the best clubs outside the north of England are going head-to-head and it promises to be an absolute cracker.
“Wests Warriors have made the final before and generally London clubs have dominated the competition in recent years, but for Sherwood Wolf Hunt this is virgin territory. In fact, only Coventry Bears and Nottingham Outlaws have ever brought the trophy to the midlands.
“Head-to-head the two sides are an unknown quantity, which makes the match a fascinating prospect for the neutral.”
Meanwhile, the Southern Conference League play-off series reaches its semi-final stage this Saturday (7 September). London Chargers’ reward for a fine 36-6 win over Gloucester’s All Golds is a trip to the Welsh valleys to take on the Valley Cougars who triumphed convincingly, 60-16, over Bedford Tigers in last week’s quarter-final.
The semi-final line up is completed by a mouth-watering west London derby between Wests Warriors and the reigning London and South-east champions Hammersmith Hills Hoists, who themselves travelled to Wales last weekend to narrowly defeat Torfaen Tigers 24-22.
David Raybould adds:
“What a summer it’s been for this new fourth tier competition. 1000-plus players registered, 75 games played and just three to go. Each one of the four semi-finalists will fancy their chances, but I certainly can’t call it!”
Aldershot’s Army Rugby Stadium will host the Southern Conference Grand Final on Saturday 14 September.