Featherstone Lions v Stanningley – Jordan Lilley looking to continue remarkable rise
TODAY COULD be the high point in Leeds community club Stanningley’s history.
They face Featherstone Lions - at Featherstone Rovers’ LD Nutrition Stadium, Post Office Road - in the National Conference Division One promotion final (12.30pm).
Stanningley have never played at the top level of the amateur game, but are bidding for a third successive promotion under joint-coaches Jordan Lilley and Ashton Golding.
“It would be everything to us to get promoted and go into the Premier Division,” Lilley, the Bradford Bulls and former Leeds Rhinos half-back, said.
“It is somewhere Stanningley have never been before and for us to take them there would be massive.
“It would be history for the club and a great achievement for me and Ashton and all the other coaches.”
Stanningley have had a remarkable rise under Lilley and Golding, who will be keeping in touch with the game from Toronto where he is preparing to play for Featherstone Rovers in this evening’s Betfred Championship Grand Final.
“When we went back to help out they only had six people training,” recalled Lilley who is one of a host of players to go from Stanningley to the professional game.
“Now we’ve got 40-odd. We were tipped to get relegated this year, but if we win it will be back to back to back promotions and the only team to have done that before are Hunslet Club Parkside.
“We’ve beaten most of the teams who finished above us and we beat Featherstone Lions away.
“It should be a really tough game, a good game and it’s one we are looking forward to.”
Lions finished third in the table, two places and 10 points ahead of Stanningley, but were pipped for second spot and automatic promotion on for and against after rivals York Acorn beat Dewsbury Moor 88-0 in the final round of the regular season.
“Missing out on automatic promotion was a shock, but it gives us chance to play in a final,” coach Jamie Rooney - who like Lilley is a former Super League half-back - said.
“Being in the final is a reward for everyone at the club,”
West Hull play Thatto Heath in the Conference Premier Division Grand Final at 3pm.