In a repeat of last years final nail biting final won 22 – 20 by Folly, the hornets from Irlam will be sure to be full of sting to avenge their defeat. Folly on the other hand will be going all out to retain the Cup and repeat the scenes of celebration witnessed on the Willows turf last year, which saw the Folly Lane team lift the trophy and party long into the night.
The Valentines Cup itself is one of the oldest trophies in rugby league dating back to turn of the 20th century, and has tremendous historical and financial value. For the players it is all about local pride and comradeship and the chance to play on the hollowed Willows turf, where some of the greatest rugby league players have trod.
The 2010 Cup is the second year of the new format event after it's reintroduction by the Salford Reds Foundation in 2009. Entrants in 2010 have increased by 50% and John Blackburn, Head of Salford City Reds Foundation, is hopeful that this continues to increase year on year.
Wednesday's game will see proceeds going to amateur development in the city and with prices of £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, a healthy turnout is expected which is expected to top the thousand crowd barrier and create a great cup final atmosphere.
One spectator who is certainly anticipating an enjoyable game is the Mayor of Salford, Councillor George Wilson. He stated that he has "really enjoyed the games" he has attended and has seen his "interest blossom" in the sport, as he had not attended a live game before taking on his duties. His own sporting background is in running, weight lifting and martial arts. Like many people new to the game the Mayor commented on the sound of the collision when player hits player and, like all who love the sport, stands in awe of the players at any level for their determination, courage and athleticism. The Mayor concluded that he is "really looking forward to the game" and the opportunity to present awards to players and congratulate them on their efforts.
"The Valentines Cup is good for the city and our rugby league clubs, it's going to be a great game, with excitement, commitment and passion" added John Blackburn, of Salford Reds Foundation "Let's hope for a big crowd so we can raise money for the amateur game. So get down to the Willows on Wednesday and show your support."
Folly Lane v Irlam Hornets Wednesday 18th August 2010
Entrance via promotions gate, Willows Road
Kick off 7:30pm Adults £3 Concessions £1