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Cardiff Demons have accepted an invitation to play in the 2005 Powergen Rugby League Challenge Cup, the final of which will be played in the Millennium Stadium on August 27.
The Demons were invited because of their impressive end of season run that saw them win six games in a row, clinching them the Total Rl.com Welsh and National Shield. They are expected to enter the competition in the First Round on January 23 while Super League clubs start their road to the Millennium Stadium in Round Four. Should the Demons be drawn at home, the game is expected to played at their regular home ground of Taffs Well RFC.
This will be Cardiff Demon's third Challenge Cup campaign, their most successful run being in 1999-2000 when they were knocked out in the Third Round at National League One side, Keighley Cougars.
Playing in that cup run was Rhodri Thomas. Still with the club today, Thomas comments, "It was a fantastic experience as at that time Keighley were challenging for Super League status. They scored on fifth tackle about eight times and Welsh International Jason Lee scored four tries. The Keighley crowd appreciated the effort we showed but we were totally outclassed. It is a day that not one of the 17 involved will ever forget."
Come January 2005, the current Demons line-up will be hoping to create a new set of memories and another successful cup run.
In other news:
Welsh clubs have picked up five awards at the Total Rl.com Rugby League Conference 2004 Honours List. Welsh and National Conference Shield winners, Cardiff Demons have led the way with two successes, winning "Best Media and PR" while Peter Moore, highly tipped to sign for a professional Rugby League club in 2005 has been nominated in Conference's Dream Team. Demons' Chairman and Welsh Press Officer, Ian Golden, comments, "It's a great honour for the club to win these awards and a credit to Pete for his outstanding performance in leading us to two titles. I'd like to thank all the Welsh press for printing my reports every week, you have helped Welsh Rugby League win another trophy." Other Welshmen in the Dream Team were Torfaen Tigers' Damien Hudd, who will be hoping to star for the full Welsh side in Scotland this Sunday, while rising star from Bridgend Blue Bulls, Craig Fox is also in the line-up. Along with Pete, they will be presented with their awards on Saturday 30 October. Finally, Aberavon Fighting Irish's first class hosting of the Welsh Grand Finals day in August coupled with their all-round dedication to the game has won them the "Club of the Year" award. Fighting Irish Team Manager, John O'Callaghan also puts the award down to their excellent Junior Development programme commenting, "This year we have hosted teams from under-8 to right up to under-17 level, introduced 300 youngsters in the game and have staged two 9-a-side tournaments including the highly successful Scott McCrorie Memorial Nines." The full list of award winners are as follows... BEST ADMINISTRATION ? (shared) Cambridge Eagles / Somerset Vikings BEST PROGRAMME ? Gloucestershire Warriors
BEST CLUB ? Aberavon Fighting Irish
BEST TEAM ? West London Sharks
BEST NEW CLUB ? Jarrow Vikings
BEST MEDIA / PR ? Cardiff Demons
REFEREE OF THE YEAR ? Clint Sharrad
COACH OF THE YEAR ? Peter Le Marquand (Ipswich Rhinos)
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR ? James Berry (Telford Raiders)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR ? Shaun Carver (Thorne Moor Marauders)
1 Mark Yates (Liverpool Buccaneers)
2 Paul Szehofner (Telford Raiders)
3 Shaun Carver (Thorne Moor Marauders)
4 Clae Morgan (West London Sharks)
5 Chris Trenham (Rotherham Giants)
6 Peter Le Marquand (Ipswich Rhinos)
7 Pete Moore (Cardiff Demons)
8 Jamie Goss (Somerset Vikings)
9 Craig Fox (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
10 Lee Marsden (Derby City)
11 Adam Millward (Nottingham Outlaws)
12 Damian Hudd (Torfaen Tigers)
13 Neil Bourke (Widnes Saints)