SIDDAL coach Lee Greenwood has said his National Conference high flyers have “no chance” of repeating last season’s third round Challenge Cup heroics when they face Widnes in this year’s competition.
The Chevinedge side were the toast of the tournament when they stunned Championship One professionals Doncaster 24-0 at the Keepmoat Stadium a year ago.
But after being paired with the Championship big guns in yesterday’s third round draw - which gave Halifax a routine looking home tie against Castleford amateurs Lock Lane - Greenwood was realistic rather than optimistic.
“It’s a great draw for the club and it should be a great day out, but realistically we shouldn’t be able to get anywhere near them,” said Greenwood.
“There is no way an amateur side should be capable of beating a team that most people think is heading for Super League next year.
“From Widnes’ perspective they won’t give us any chance at all.
“We’ll do our best to be competitive, and I’ll try and come up with a few things that might surprise them, but it’s not a game you would expect us to win.”
Siddal have been drawn with home advantage for the tie, which will be played on the weekend of March 5/6, but with Halifax Town at home on the Saturday and Fax likely to play Sunday, getting use of the Shay - where Greenwood’s side were eventually beaten by his professional club Batley last year - is already looking problematic.
“If we end up having to switch it to Widnes, then so be it,” said Greenwood, who is now on the Bulldogs’ coaching staff.
“It’s a nice, modern stadium with great facilities.
“I’d rather we played Saturday, because if it’s Sunday I might end up being on Batley duty, but we’ll see how things work out over the next few days.”
Despite Greenwood’s relative pessimism, Siddal are likely to present Widnes with far more problems than Lock Lane should pose for Fax, who were thrown out off the competition last year after fielding the ineligible Michael Ostick against Swinton in round four.
The Castleford side, who play their football in Division Two of the National Conference, have already been to the Shay once at this stage of the competition in recent years, finishing on the sharp end of a 76-0 hammering in 2005, and are likely to fear something similar this time round.
“We look forward to the Challenge Cup every year and this year probably doubly so after what happened last season,” said Fax boss Matt Calland.
“The third round is a great chance for the amateurs to come and test themselves and I’m sure Lock Lane will relish coming to the Shay.
“We don’t know a lot about them, but we’ll treat them with respect.”