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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Kells out to retain proud Cumbria Cup traditions

KELLS boss Peter Smith says his side will go ‘all out’ to keep up their excellent record in the Iggesund BARLA Cumbria Cup this weekend.

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cheers: Kells celebrate winning the Cumbria Cup two seasons ago

The Whitehaven amateurs will go head to head with Walney Central in this year’s final at the Cumbria Academy of Sport, Hensingham on Saturday, ko 2pm.

And Smith says they want to uphold Kells’ fine tradition in the Cumbria Cup, which saw them win it seven times in eight years during the 1980s.

“This is a big final and when anyone gets to a final they want to go all out and win it,” said Smith.

“We will be treating this game with a lot of respect. We have got a decent record in this competition, winning the trophy seven out of eight times in the 80s.

“They actually gave us that trophy which is in our cabinet at the club now. So it is important for us that we maintain this run in the competition.”

Smith is well aware it will be a tough game as they have been involved in some big tussles in recent years.

Kells last won the Cumbria Cup two years ago, when they saw off Seaton in an exciting finale 18-16.

Last year Seaton lifted the trophy after beating Distington.

“It will be a difficult game, we won it with the last kick of the game a couple of years ago and we expect it to be as close as that on Saturday,” he added.

Cumberland League outfit Kells have had a long break, with their league season ending at the start of December but Smith says the rest will have done his players good.

Although they are still contending with a couple of minor injuries he is confident he will be able to field a strong side this weekend.

“We had a couple of knocks to contend with from our last game against Distington,” explained Smith.

“But with us finishing just before Christmas, the lads have had a good while off and have enjoyed Christmas but we pulled them back into training last Thursday.

“We blasted them in that session and we will have about three more this week.

“We just need to get some game shape about us but we are looking alright.

“At least we don’t have to travel so we have some home advantage and everyone is really up for the game.

“We do have a couple of knocks here and there but we will see how they are doing nearer the weekend.”

Kells’ passage to the cup final was tough. They opened with a 60-12 demolition of Aspatria before dispatching Glasson in an extra time thriller 15-14.

Then, in the semis, they beat last year’s runners-up Distington 8-4.

Walney last reached the final back in 1995 when they won, defeating Hensingham 18-16.

To reach the final this year they opened with a win over Wath Brow 42-6, then blasted past Broughton RR 36-16 before edging out fellow South Cumbrians Barrow Island 20-12 in the semis.

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