Rugby League: Amateur clubs drink from expanded Cup

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The Independent Online
NOT ONLY do 48 amateur clubs kick off the Challenge Cup this weekend, but they come from places that would have been dots on a fantasy rugby league map a few years ago.

Today's programme includes the Gateshead Panthers - forerunners of next year's Super League team - against Crosfields, University of Wales Institute (Cardiff) and London Skolars face Thatto Heath, giant-killers themselves a couple of years ago. But it is tomorrow that the code's spreading wings will be most evident.

The Scottish Border Eagles, under the tutelage of the former Great Britain international, Hugh Waddell, take on Wath Brow Hornets, current champions of the Cumberland League.

The first winners of the Challenge Trophy in Ireland this year were Northside Saints, and it is they who carry Irish hopes into the Challenge Cup today against Siddal\, from the first division of the National Conference.