Sheffield Eagles will take on Batley Bulldogs in The 1895 Cup Semi-final on Sunday, knowing that they are just eighty minutes away from a mouth-watering final at Wembley.

The Rugby League side will face their Championship counterparts at the Olympic Legacy Park at 2pm on Sunday July 28th and are seen as favourites in the tie.

The Eagles have twice inflicted heavy defeats on the Bulldogs this season, most recently thrashing them 54-24 in June after beating them 44-16 back in March.

The hosts also sit 11 points and three places above the visitors in the Championship table, as they remain in the hunt for a qualifiers spot.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s clash, Eagles’ coach Keith Senior said: “We’ve beaten them twice already, but this is a one-off game so that counts for nothing.

“This game is going to be built on pride and passion.

“With our Halfbacks and Outside backs we’ve got some flair and we can throw the ball about, so hopefully it’s a good day and we can move their pack about. We’ve just got to make sure that our execution is on point”.

Both the Eagles and the Bulldogs entered the competition at the second-round stage along with the ten other Championship sides, as the first round is reserved for League One teams.

Sheffield first completed a 52-8 demolition of Halifax, before squeezing past Doncaster in the quarter finals with a dramatic 32-28 come-from-behind win, courtesy of a last-minute Anthony Thackeray try.

Batley, after seeing off Rochdale Hornets in the second round, experienced their own similarly dramatic quarter final, as Louis Jouffret’s drop goal during golden-point extra time secured a 17-16 win against York City Knights.

On the prospect of playing at Wembley in a cup final, Senior said: “These opportunities don’t come around very often so we’ve got to grasp it with both hands.

“There are players out there who have played for twenty years but have never played at Wembley.

“For some of these boys to experience it as Championship players would be big. Wembley is something that you dream of!”

Officially known as the AB Sundecks Ltd 1895 Cup, the competition was introduced this season for teams in the Championship and League One.

The exclusion of Super League teams from the competition gives second and third division sides another chance at playing at Wembley, as the latter stages of the Challenge Cup are usually dominated by top tier outfits.

The Final will take place at Wembley Stadium on 24th August, following the conclusion of the Challenge Cup Final.


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