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Home > News > Cup Finals fever grips Stoke
Your News Cup Finals fever grips Stoke

STOKE’S success as a sporting city has caused logistical problems for the city’s rugby clubs as they prepare for the RFU Intermediate Cup final against Aylesford Bulls at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday May 14.

At the same time as Stoke play the biggest match in their 127-year history their sporting neighbours Stoke City football club will be playing Manchester city at Wembley in the FA Cup final.

The clash of finals has left some difficult choices to be made by Stoke members, friends and family many of whom are lifelong supporters of the football club.

“We are 127 years old, Stoke City are 148 years old so for both of us to be playing in a final on the same day and at the same time is quite bizarre,” said Stoke chairman Jeremy Edwards.

“It’s caused us some logistical difficulties and also left people with some difficult decisions about which game they should attend.

“Most of our players are Stoke City supporters and our captain Chris Rowley was there at their FA Cup semi-final.

“The father of our number six Ben Cornwall is a lifelong Stoke City fan but he has decided to miss the FA Cup final, the biggest match in their history, to watch his son at Twickenham.

“But the son of another of our players, Ben Brown, has decided that he going to Wembley rather than watch his old man play at Twickenham.

“There are lots of similar instances with people uncertain whether to go to Twickenham to watch us or to go to the FA Cup final.

We’ve decided to travel down on Friday and stay in a hotel near Heathrow. We were afraid that if we travelled on Saturday we would run the risk of being stuck in horrendous traffic on the M40 and we didn’t want to run that risk before a final.”

Stoke reached the final by beating Widnes in the semi-final having edged out Market Rasen & Louth in the Midlands Intermediate Cup final in early April.

“Like most clubs our focus is doing well in the league but these Intermediate Cup matches come along and they are often an opportunity to play clubs that you wouldn’t normally meet in the league,” Edwards said.

“When start playing Intermediate Cup matches in September, an appearance at Twickenham seems a long way off. But as you progress through the tournament the interest and excitement grows.

“We’ve had a fantastic time. We’ve played some terrific clubs along the way and we have received lots of good luck messages from the clubs that we have played along the way. That’s waht the fellowship of rugby is all about.

“There is a real buzz about the club at the moment. Despite the clash with the FA Cup final, our focus is on our own final and we are looking forward to the occasion.”

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