The renowned Castleford community club Lock Lane are hunting their second semi-professional scalp in consecutive rounds of the Betfred Challenge Cup this weekend when they host Rochdale Hornets in a tie to be streamed live by The Sportsman.
And for head coach Paul Couch, their famous victory at Oldham in front of the Our League cameras in the previous round has already earned a personal reward.
Couch is a lifelong fan of Tottenham Hotspur FC, regularly attending their away fixtures in the north – but has yet to experience the club’s new stadium, which is widely regarded as one of the best in sport.
So the RFL have presented him with a pair of tickets for the 2022 Betfred Challenge Cup Final on Saturday May 28 – which will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time.
“The stadium looks amazing, and everyone’s heard about how good it is with all the bars and the fans so close to the action,” said Couch.
“I haven’t been able to get down there yet for a Spurs game, so I was really chuffed when the RFL invited me down for the Challenge Cup Final.
“I think it’s exciting for all Rugby League fans, not just people like me who support Spurs, to have the chance to watch our sport in such a great venue.”
Even Couch would concede that his Lock Lane team are unlikely to reach the Final, with the heavyweights of the Betfred Super League and Championship still to join the competition.
But together with his assistant coach Craig Huby – who played at Wembley for Castleford Tigers in the 2014 Cup Final – Couch has his sights set on securing a place in the Fourth Round, with the winners of Saturday’s tie to be at home to the in-form Championship club Barrow Raiders.
Rochdale Hornets are celebrating the centenary of the year in which they lifted the Challenge Cup for the only time, and had a promising victory over Midlands Hurricanes in the Second Round.
Their community neighbours, Rochdale Mayfield, are also aiming to spring a surprise this weekend with a home tie against Doncaster – and the winners of that game to host Whitehaven in Round Four.
Third Round (ties to be played February 12-13)
Lock Lane v Rochdale Hornets
Royal Navy v York Acorn
London Skolars v Hunslet Club Parkside
Swinton Lions v North Wales Crusaders
Rochdale Mayfield v Doncaster
Hunslet v Siddal
Fourth Round (ties to be played February 26-28)
York City Knights v Newcastle Thunder
Halifax Panthers v Featherstone Rovers
Leigh Cenurions v Widnes Vikings
Lock Lane or Rochdale Hornets v Barrow Raiders
Batley Bulldogs v Royal Navy or York Acorn
London Broncos v Bradford Bulls
London Skolars or Hunslet Club Parkside v Sheffield Eagles
Swinton Lions or North Wales Crusaders v Hunslet or Siddal
Workington Town v Dewsbury Rams
Rochdale Mayfield or Doncaster v Whitehaven
Fifth Round (5 ties) – March 12-13
Sixth Round (8 ties) – March 26-27 – Betfred Super League clubs enter
Quarter Finals – April 9-10
Semi Finals – Saturday May 7 at Elland Road, Leeds