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York Knights will be seeking to reach Wembley Stadium for the second time in three years as they host Batley Bulldogs in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Semi-Finals on Sunday afternoon (12pm) at the LNER Community Stadium.
York last visited Wembley in the 2021 AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Final, falling to a narrow 41-34 defeat to current Betfred Championship leaders Featherstone Rovers in the Club’s first appearance at the national stadium in 90 years.
The Knights have put themselves within 80 minutes of a return to Wembley thanks to Betfred Challenge Cup victories over West Bowling (52-12), Sheffield Eagles (26-24) and Newcastle Thunder (22-18), sealing the side’s spot in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Semi-Finals.
The Knights were handed arguably the toughest possible tie for the Semi-Finals, as the draw pitted them against Batley, who currently occupy third spot in the Betfred Championship, trailing second-placed full-time outfit Toulouse Olympique on just points different.
The Bulldogs, who have won 13 of their 19 league matches to date, earned a spot in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup thanks to wins over Wath Brow Hornets (60-0), Hunslet ARLFC (6-80) and Keighley Cougars (34-16) in the Betfred Challenge Cup.
Since that triumph over Keighley, Craig Lingard’s side have recorded eight wins from their following 10 league matches, suffering defeats to only in-form London Broncos (18-20) at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium and away at the Stade Ernest Wallon to Toulouse (34-12) last weekend.
A 48-6 thrashing of Swinton Lions at Heywood Park and a 42-0 home rout of fellow Play-Off contenders Halifax Panthers have been particular highlights during Batley’s string of strong results.
But the West Yorkshire club have retained their edge in tight affairs, beating Toulouse 17-16, Halifax 12-20 and York 14-8, in the most recent meeting of the two clubs in June.
While Batley head to the LNER Community Stadium in high spirits, York will equally take confidence from a run of three straight league wins over Halifax (28-18), Keighley (10-50) and Sheffield Eagles (23-18).
Having beaten two of the top six within the past three weeks, the Knights will be hopeful of securing another upset as well as a place at Wembley Stadium.
York Knights will be seeking to secure a second Wembley Stadium appearance in three years when they host Batley Bulldogs in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup Semi-Final on Sunday (12pm).
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