Battersea Ironsides are looking to get one over league rivals Reeds Weybridge on Papa Johns Community Cup finals weekend at StoneX Stadium.
Ironsides and Reeds will renew their Regional 2 South East League rivalry in the Papa Johns Men’s Regional 2 South Plate Final on Saturday.
Ironsides defeated Old Reigatians 33-20 in their semi-final, while Reeds Weybridge held on for a 40-35 win over Truro to set their date for destiny in Barnet.
The sides know each other very well, with Reeds getting the better of their local rivals twice in the league season, but Ironsides chair Rob Newman insists his side are focusing on themselves.
He said: “I do not necessarily think the guys are after revenge as such, we respect the teams in our league a lot.
“This is a different competition, and the guys are excited for the opportunity to win a cup but it is a good competitive rivalry, so I think it will be a good game.
“We had a couple of tight matches recently which we won in the end, again mainly through our fitness, so I think this is going to be quite a close game and it is really exciting.
“It has been a fantastic competition, Papa Johns and the RFU have done a great job to put it into place and what we really like is the opportunity to play against clubs we would not normally play against, so it has been great.”
Over 500 clubs have competed for a place in one of the 29 finals across the women’s and men’s game during the inaugural season of the Papa Johns Community Cup, which was created to provide a crescendo to the end of the grassroots season, keeping players engaged throughout the spring and giving clubs a chance to compete for silverware whatever their final league positions.
As well as lifting a trophy, all 29 teams that win across the Papa Johns Community Cup Finals will be entered in a prize draw to win a visit from a Red Roses’ coach and a free Papa Johns pizza order.
Other teams who competed in the Papa Johns Community Cup competitions also have chance to win by submitting their best try from the competition.
For Nige Connell, Reeds Weybridge Director of Rugby, the prospect of a final in a national competition culminates a hugely successful period for the club.
“We are super excited, we are not used to 4G, so that will be something new for us, but we have a couple of buses of supporters already booked and there will be people driving directly too,” he said.
“We have been going for 90-odd years, but changed our name around 10 years ago, so we were in the foundation league that year, we have since had six or seven promotions in ten years and now find ourselves here.
“The last 10 years have been fantastic for everyone involved and we are just hugely excited, it is massive for the club obviously.”
There are three other finals taking place at the home of Saracens, as Old Patesians and Harlequin Amateurs compete for the Papa Johns Men’s Counties 3/4 South Plate glory, before Papa Johns Men’s Counties 2 South Plate Final is played between Chipstead and Bream, and Twickenham and Longlevens will battle it out for the Papa Johns Men’s Counties 1 South Plate Final.
Elsewhere in the nationwide competition, Sixways Stadium hosts the Papa Johns Men’s Regional 1 Plate, Shield and Bowl Finals on Saturday while the Darlington Arena welcomes teams competing in the North Plate Finals.
The rugby action continues on Sunday 7 May, with the Papa Johns North Shield finals at the Darlington Arena, while StoneX Stadium will host the South Shield finals and Twickenham Stadium will welcome Regional 2 and Counties 1, 2, 3 and below, sides competing for the Papa Johns Men’s Championship trophy. Full fixtures are available to view here
Entry to all of the finals is free to the public. For more Papa Johns Community Cup action follow @RFU Twitter and #PapaJohnsCommunityCup