South Shields wary of Houghton in Durham County Cup final showdown

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Rugby Union

South Shields compete in their first cup final in five years tomorrow night when they travel to Hartlepool to take on Houghton in the final of the Durham County Cup.

The 7.30pm kick-off is taking place at the Wiltshire Way ground (TS26 0TB), the home of West Hartlepool TDSOB.

Durham/Northumberland Three champions Shields go into the match looking to collect their third trophy of the season, having already collected the league title and the Bob Taylor Memorial Trophy this term.

However, they will be coming up against a Houghton team on a high after they also claimed a promotion spot from DN3 when finishing second.

Houghton also caused Shields a number of problems, winning the last league encounter.

Shields coach Jordan Wright says his side are in no doubt that they face a difficult challenge.

Wright said: “We’re under no illusions going into this game.

“The fact Houghton have reached the final, and a successful promotion-winning season, shows that they’ve got a strong side.

“We also believe they have some players that are of a high standard. We certainly won’t be taking them lightly.

“From our perspective though, we’ve got a good record this season and we’d like to keep that going.

“There has been a lot of talk about the potential of winning a league and cup double, and we want this to be the final piece of that jigsaw. There shouldn’t be any complacency in the camp.”

Injured duo Clayton Fox and James Pocklington are unavailable, as too are Ian Arkley, Steven Richardson, Felix Nellen and Oli Tucker.

Tomorrow night’s clash will see a return to a ground Shields have found memories of, winning 45-5 back in December, while others in the Shields squad also have fond memories of the ground going further back.

Entry for the game (£3) will remain on sale at Tech Rugby Club until just after kick off.