Batley to face Halifax in 'Clash of the Champions'
Batley Bulldogs, the 2010 Northern Rail Cup Winners, and Halifax RLFC, the 2010 Co-operative Championship Grand Final Winners are delighted to announce that at 2pm on Sunday 16th January 2011 both teams will play against each other in a game billed as the ‘Clash of the Champions’ pre-season fixture.
The game, to be played at Mount Pleasant, Batley, sees the Champions of the League and the Cup going head-to-head with the winners receiving the ‘Champion of Champions Cup’ specially commissioned by the two clubs and sponsored by X Blades, kit manufacturers of the two Co-operative Championship clubs who themselves are based in Batley.
In a show of support to the sponsors of both competitions, Halifax players will be wearing specially designed shirts carrying the Co-operative logo and Bulldogs players wearing shirts carrying the Northern Rail logo, both shirts having been made specifically for the occasion. The clubs will then auction off their respective shirts to the fans hoping to raise £2000 for the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.
Halifax Chairman, Michael Steele, commented “Kevin (Nicholas) contacted us about the game and we immediately thought it was a great idea similar to the Charity Shield in football. We also thought it would be fitting to try to raise some money for a charitable cause and there can be no greater cause than the Rugby League Benevolent Fund. I think both Clubs are looking forward to a great game as well as a chance to win the first silverware of the season. I hope all supporters embrace the idea and turn up in numbers for a top class game of rugby league.”
Kevin Nicholas, the Chairman of Batley Bulldogs, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the best of Co-operative Championships rugby league and every sport enthusiast loves the idea of playing for silverware. Both clubs are grateful to The Co-operative and Northern Rail for their sponsorship of this game and indeed their continued sponsorship of our sport. Also big thanks to Darren Moore at X Blades for their generous sponsorship of the trophy. It should be a competitive battle and a great advert for rugby league and if we can raise money for charity as well through the sale of the shirts it will be tremendous. We will announce at the game how fans can get hold of the limited edition (20 only) playing shirts and help raise funds for our charity.”
Liz Matkin, Head of Sponsorship for The Co-operative commented: “We are very pleased to lend our support to this pre-season game. It is a great concept and I am in no doubt that on the pitch the game will be another intensely fought encounter. Both teams deserved their respective trophies in 2010 for their tremendous efforts on the pitch and for whoever wins on the day this will be the icing on the cake and the first piece of silverware in 2011. We would like to encourage fans to attend on the day and help raise money for a very worthy cause.”
Tony Hargrave, Northern Rail Sponsorship Manager said: “What a fantastic concept to have the 2010 league cup winners take on the league champions for the bragging rights in a pre-season friendly. Batley and Halifax took the honours in two thrilling finals and if both produce similar form in this challenge match then fans are in for a real treat.”
He added: “All credit must go to Paul Harrison for coming up with the idea and also for bringing the two principal sponsors of Championship rugby league, Northern Rail and The Co-operative, together for the first time to support a charity match that will ultimately benefit a very worthy cause – the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.”