The 2017 season will kick off as rugby league history is created at Twist Lane, when Leigh Miners Rangers face Wigan St Patrick’s in the first round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup on Saturday.
The derby tie is the pick of the first round matches as it pairs two of the oldest rivals in the amateur game, but to add further excitement the competition sponsors Ladbrokes and the tournament broadcaster BBC have picked this out as their game of the round.
They will be bringing all their glitz and glamour to the matchday as they broadcast live coverage through the BBC Sports website, with commentary from respected pundit Dave Woods alongside expert analysts former Miners player Martyn Ridyard.
This will be the third time Miners facing Pat’s has received broadcast coverage, with the 2011 interim season match being used as the backdrop for a BBC4 documentary on NUM leader Joe Gormley, while the 2013 Battle of the Borough Challenge Trophy final at Leigh Sports Village was covered by Premier Sports.
Alongside this, Ladbrokes, who are the official sponsor of the competition, will be adding their own theme to the ground on match day.
There will be Ladbrokes branding around the perimeter of the pitch, Ladbrokes post and corner flag protectors, eight Ladbrokes branded Challenge Cup balls to be used for the warm-ups and the match, Ladbrokes Challenge Cup try/no try cards and large pitch flags for 15-20 of the club’s juniors to carry.
The betting company will also be providing free-standing branding, which will be placed in the clubhouse for post-match interviews, their own external PA system and announcer and, last but not least, the actual Ladbrokes Challenge Cup trophy itself, paying a return visit to Twist Lane after previously appearing for Miners’ tie against Leeds University in 2007.
Please note that the official confirmation of this coverage now means the tie will kick-off at 1pm on Saturda, instead of the original time of 2.30pm.
With the added entertainment and excitement of the coverage, a big crowd is expected and all supporters are encouraged to get down early to enjoy the day.