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Total RL.com Rugby League Conference Finals Sunday 5th September (Woollams, St Albans)
National Shield Final - Cardiff Demons v Thorne Moor Marauders (2.30pm)
Harry Jepson Trophy - West London Sharks v Widnes Saints (4.30pm)
Total RL.com Welsh Rugby League Conference Shield winners, Cardiff Demons are preparing for their National Shield Final this Sunday and had their final training session at Taff's Well RFC on Wednesday night.
Cardiff have, as expected, named an unchanged squad from the side that beat St. Albans 66-14 in the semi-final. The only difference is that Anthony Loxton will start as prop and Andy Jones will be on the bench. This means that the dynamic half-backs Peter Moore and Gareth Jones, both of whom are expected to both be picked for Wales against England in Coventry next week, will be the men to watch in the Demons line-up. Jones is the Demons top-scorer with 19 tries and 67 goals so far this season, while Moore, having missed a lot of the season after starring for the Great Britain students, has been an inspiration to the team since his return.
Coach Wayne Williams commented, "It would be unfair to change the squad from the St. Albans game as it was one of our best ever performances. All of the lads are fit and after Wednesday's training session, are raring to go."
The Demons go into the match as the more experienced finalist after five years and fifty games, while echoing both Torfaen Tigers' and Bolton le Moors' from last season, Thorne Moor Marauders have reached the Shield Final in their first ever Conference season.
The Marauders are a summer offshoot of the successful Moorends RLFC side that play their matches in winter's Doncaster and District Rugby League competition. Although they pull the majority of their players from that club, they also have the support of players from other clubs in the nearby town of Thorne, accumulating a squad of over 40 players. Included in that number are Shane Lake, aged 39 and his son Kevin, aged 16, the only father-son team in the Conference. They are both expected to face up against the Demons this Sunday.
Marauders' Press Officer, Jim Welbourn, comments "We have surprised ourselves in the first season. Although we have taken three good hidings at the hands of Leeds Akedemics, Bradford Dudley Hill and South Wakefield Sharks, we have lost a few games by just a few points as well as winning games by just a few. We are possibly a year ahead of our planning and if we can maintain the growth in playing numbers next season, we may in our third season take up the offer of Yorkshire league players from outside our area and also Doncaster Dragons reserve players."
Following Cardiff Demons match will be the Harry Jepson Trophy Final where conquerors of Bridgend, West London Sharks, will take on Widnes Saints for the National Conference Championship.
Cardiff Demons: James Iles, Idris Evans, Rhodri Thomas, Neil Thomas, Andrew Bradshaw, Gareth Jones, Peter Moore, Graham Hughes, Mark Bow, Anthony Loxton, Mark Dando, Dave Roberson, John Byers. Subs: Andy Jones, Pat Howell, Tom Young, Kyle Blake.
Thorne Moor Marauders (expected): Craig Hookway, Kevin Lake, Shaun Carver, Greg Linsdell, Matty Bingley, Mark Roach, Ryan Noble, Andy Evans, Martin Rowlands, Chris Pearson, Gareth Munro, Brett Staveley, Steve Allen, Dave Knott, Wayne Rafferty, Shane Lake, Greg Neil.