Yorkshire Cup fan Gary Thornton counting down to Hunslet’s kick-off

Gary Thornton.
Gary Thornton.
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THE TIMING is “not ideal”, but Hunslet coach Gary Thornton is a fan of the revived Yorkshire Cup.

“I am looking forward to it, I think the concept is brilliant,” said Thornton, whose side face Batley Bulldogs at Odsal on Sunday (1pm). The competition has been introduced to give clubs some competitive action in pre-season and also involves Dewsbury Rams, Featherstone Rovers, Hunslet Club Parkside, York City Knights, Bradford Bulls and Halifax.

“When it was first talked about we didn’t know when our [Betfred League One] season would start,” Thornton added.

“We thought we might start at the same time as the Championship, but we don’t start until February 24.

“It is not ideal preparation; we are going to have three games in the Yorkshire Cup, then play Leeds and then have two weeks before we start the season.

“But that said, it is a chance to play against Championship sides and, from a personal point of view, I am really looking forward to the Batley game, against my old club.”

The competition kicks off tomorrow when Hunslet Club Parkside, the only community club involved, face Championship newcomers York City Knights at Dewsbury’s Tetley’s Stadium (1pm), followed by the all-Championship clash between Rams and Featherstone (3.3opm).

On Sunday, Bradford take on Halifax at Odsal (3pm).