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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Flimby eyeing first major trophy in 14 years

Flimby are chasing their first major trophy for 14 years tomorrow when they take on Kells A.

The two go head-to head in the play-off final for the Iggesund Cumberland ARL Second Division, with the venue dependant on the ground conditions.

Both Glasson and Maryport home pitches have been earmarked for the showdown, and the one which is in the best condition after the recent heavy rain, will stage the final (kick-off 2pm).

It’s not the first time that the two sides have matched-up for a final, but midst dreadful scenes the Dale Campbell-Savours clash had to be abandoned.

Raymond Fidler, the Flimby coach, said: “That final still has to be rearranged but I’m sure there’s going to be nothing like that this time.

“We have only lost twice in topping the Second Division table, against Aspatria and Kells A, so obviously we know that it is going to be a tough game. But it’s a one-off game, like any final, and the team who does best on the day will win it.”

Flimby, who have a squad of 20 to pick from, suffered a blow in training when 20-year-old hooker Darren Fidler, son of the coach, went over on his ankle during Tuesday night’s session.

“We are still debating on what to do because it doesn’t look as if he’ll make it but Nathan Kirkbride usually spells him off so this could be a big chance for him,” said the Flimby coach.

A former Flimby, player he and John Harrison rallied the club 10 years ago when it looked like folding and since then it’s been a case of making gradual progress.

“We have a nice blend of youth and experience. Lads like Gary Steele and Tony Eve are in their 30s and have been playing for the club a long time.

“But we have a lot of lads under the age of 21 and the youngest of them is one of the brightest prospects in the Second Division. Connor Wilson is only 16 but the way he runs in the second row you wouldn’t think so.

“He came through the age groups at Ellenborough but he’s a Flimby lad and couldn’t wait to give it a go with us in open age. He and Luke Grima form a young but very effective second-row pairing.”

Tomorrow’s opponents Kells A will put-out a very young side as well, but they’ve also experience to back them up.

Like Wilson of Flimby, Ben Milburn is only 16 but already regarded as a prodigious talent by Kells who saw-off Aspatria last week-end to make the final.

Milburn will clearly be one of their most influential players in the final and youth will be given its head. But last week in the game against the Hornets the combined age of the three subs – Sean High, Craig Chambers and Darren Wilson was 114.

High is the oldest of those and has been playing for Kells before most of his young team-mates were born.

“I still enjoy playing so there’s no thought of hanging up the boots just yet. I was disappointed to have a try disallowed on Saturday and still take it as serious as when I started,” he says.

Kells, of course, are still the dominant club in the Cumberland ARL and there’s plenty of silverware left for them to play for.

After the A team go into action tomorrow it’s the first team’s turn on Saturday, December 1 taking on Distington in the Division One Play-Off Final at Lowca (2pm).

Then on Saturday, December 8 it’s Kells again, this time against Glasson Rangers in the Iggesund BARLA County Cup final at Copeland Stadium (2pm).

  • 4.55pm update: The Kells A v Flimby play-off final has been called off due to waterlogging.

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