08/05/14 by Paul Bolton
|Newport hope to end a season in which they suffered relegation from National Three Midlands with a smile in the North Midlands Cup final against Worcester Wanderers at Dudley Kingswinford’s Heathbrook headquarters on Sunday May 11 (3pm).
Newport went down despite amassing 51 points during the season and will have to prepare for life in Midlands One West next season where they could find themselves playing against Worcester Wanderers if they are transferred back into the Midlands leagues following their relegation from National Three South West.
But the county cup final offers both clubs the chance to end the season with some silverware at the end of a long campaign.
“I’m sure that Worcester Wanderers will be looking at it in the same way. It’s a chance to put a smile on people’s faces at the end of a disappointing season,” said Newport director of rugby Chris Wilde.
“But it’s not all doom and gloom from us. We would have preferred not to have gone down but in some respects it’s easier to rebuild with young players when you have dropped down a level.
“We have got a lot of good young players coming through and it is difficult to throw them in at National Three level.”
Worcester Wanderers are in the North Midlands Cup final for a second successive year following a narrow defeat against Bournville but they have never won the competition.
Newport won the county cup for the first time in 2011 and strong supporters of the competition.
“We’ve had little interference from the weather this year which means that every match in the competition has been played, there have been no walkovers. The two finalists are there in merit,” Wilde said.
“We value the North Midlands Cup. Cup competitions are great, particularly if you progress in them, they probably don’t seem quite so good if you get knocked out in the first round though.”
Around two-thirds of Newport’s squad will be in the Shropshire squad that will face Greater Birmingham in the RLF Three Counties Championship final at Stourbridge next Tuesday.
But utility back Toby Mann and centre Matt Curgenven will miss the North Midlands Cup final because of services commitments. Mann is in the RAF stationed at Cosford and Curgenven, who is in the Army, is based in Swindon.
In the North Midlands Shield, Bridgnorth will be attempting to retain the trophy they won last season when they face Stourbridge Lions in the final at Dudley Kingswinford on May 11 (1pm).
Bridgnorth were narrowly beaten by Leek in the Midlands Intermediate Cup two months ago but have the chance to end their season with some silverware against the Lions, who won the Midlands Senior Vase last season.
There will be a new name on the North Midlands Vase as Woodrush meet Bredon Star in the final at Dudley Kingswinford on May 11 (also 1pm).
Woodrush have already won the Midlands Four West (South) title this season and have the chance to complete a trophy double in their first season under new head coach Jon Ford, the former Birmingham & Solihull centre.