Pilkington Recs Match Preview
Sunday 18th March 3pm at Butts Park Arena
It’s a return to Cup action in Coventry for a Challenge Cup fourth round tie against NCL club Pilkington Recs. This comes courtesy of the Bears first ever home cup tie which they won against Distington in front of the BBC TV cameras. That victory put the Bears into the draw for the fourth round for the first time, and once again they find themselves pitted against opposition from lower down the RL pyramid.
The prize for Sundays victors could be a money spinning tie against Warrington, Leigh or Hull KR, so everything’s to play for and it won’t be easy.
But first, where is Pilkington, it sounds familiar? Its not a place, but the name of a famous glass company, situated in a famous glass manufacturing town, St Helens, home of the top Super League team which does carry the town’s name. So we are up against a team from the games ‘Lancashire’ [now Merseyside] heartland, steeped in the game. And the windscreen in your car may carry the Pilkington logo!
The Recs [short for recreational] have a long and proud history, and are unique in being founded as a works rugby union side, who converted to soccer, before being reformed in 1947 as a Rugby League team. Over the years they have produced some good players who have moved on into the semi-pro game, so there could be up and coming talent on both sides this Sunday. There is history between the two sides who played as recently as 2013, when the then NCL members Bears lost at home to the Recs.
The Bears go into the game fresh from their first league win of the season but with injuries to captain Chris Barratt and hooker Lewis Lord, but the strength in depth still gives coach Tom Tsang options.
Tom will be taking nothing for granted in another cup tie where the opposition are well fancied underdogs with a record of victories over higher placed opposition such as Bears rivals London Skolars.
Head Coach Tom says; "After the Hemel win, we have had a good energy about training this week. Its amazing what getting a couple of wins under the belt can do for the confidence of a side. We were still pretty rusty at times last Sunday so we know we still have a long way to go before we are the finished product, but we are definitely going in the right direction.
"Pilkington pose a really intriguing challenge this week - I am sure they will be pretty confident of getting a win. There is a thought that the top end of the amateur ranks are even, if not higher in playing standard than parts of League 1. Having been involved with teams in both environments, there is no doubt that the NCL is a quality competition and Pilkington are a premium side, but we are happy with the favourites tag and will be working hard to make sure that title is deserved.
"It's a historic day for us as a club, playing in the Challenge Cup 4th round for the first time and the prospect of a 5th round tie against a top side is motivation enough for our young side."
Memberships are not valid for Sundays game and all fans can purchase tickets in advance by clicking here.
The Coventry Bears Squad will be as follows:
1. Jason Bass
2. Hayden Freeman
3. Dante Morley-Samuels
4. Kam Pearce-Paul
5. Errol Carter
6. Paul Emmanuelli
7. Ben Stead
8. James Geurtjens
9. Zak Williams
10. John Aldred
11. Kieran Sherratt
12. James Mason
13. Chris Vitalini
14. Liam Rice Wilson
15. Ben Gray
16. Dan Gover
17. Harry Kaufman
18. Joel Thomas
19. Charlie Clarke