Liam Finn hoping Rochdale Hornets put up a ‘great fight’ against big-spending Oldham as Halifax Panthers’ hopes of retaining 1895 Cup hang in the balance

Halifax Panthers’ hopes of retaining the 1895 Cup rest on an admirable favour from Rochdale Hornets at Oldham on Sunday.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Fax memorably held on to triumphantly beat Batley Bulldogs at Wembley last August to lift the trophy but defeat in their opening group fixture at the League 1 big spenders dashed any major hopes of a return to the national stadium in 2024.

However, there is still a glimmer of hope that the Panthers could still progress to the quarter finals depending on if Gary Thornton’s Rochdale can cause a shock at Boundary Park at the weekend.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Fax head coach Liam Finn said: “I’ll be keeping up to date with the score but I am not overly hopeful. I don’t think Oldham will win easily as that is disrespectful to Rochdale.

Halifax Panthers in Challenge Cup action at home to Whitehaven last Sunday. All eyes now turn to Rochdale's visit to Oldham this weekend in the 1895 Cup. (Photo by Simon Hall).Halifax Panthers in Challenge Cup action at home to Whitehaven last Sunday. All eyes now turn to Rochdale's visit to Oldham this weekend in the 1895 Cup. (Photo by Simon Hall).
Halifax Panthers in Challenge Cup action at home to Whitehaven last Sunday. All eyes now turn to Rochdale's visit to Oldham this weekend in the 1895 Cup. (Photo by Simon Hall).

“Any team that Gary coaches will put up a good fight. I am sure they will be putting up a great fight for obvious reasons.

“But, without being disrespectful to Rochdale, I do expect Oldham to win. On budgets and money spent alone, they will be expected to win.”

With Halifax’s chances of progress out of the group stage looking very slim, it was therefore “massively important”, Finn said, for the club to make into the fourth round of the Challenge Cup after their victory over Whitehaven at The Shay last Sunday.

Read More
Challenge Cup round-up: Comprehensive third round win for Halifax Panthers
Action from Halifax Panthers third round Challenge Cup victory over Whitehaven at The Shay. (Photo by Simon Hall).Action from Halifax Panthers third round Challenge Cup victory over Whitehaven at The Shay. (Photo by Simon Hall).
Action from Halifax Panthers third round Challenge Cup victory over Whitehaven at The Shay. (Photo by Simon Hall).
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We didn’t want a scenario at this stage where we have worked hard for 13 weeks in pre-season, play three games and then go back into another four-week block of pre-season,” the former Dewsbury Rams head coach said.

“It was massively important to win. We are happy in that sense and we can keep building towards the league season where we have got a week on, week off scenario.”

He added: “This week we will be having a little break because you don’t get many opportunities when the season starts properly.

“So this weekend we will get a long weekend off so everyone is fresh for the weekend after and they can enjoy spending time with their families.”