Wolf Hunt set for big day at Debdale after reaching rugby league final

INTO THE FINAL -- Sherwood Wolf Hunt (red and green) in action.
INTO THE FINAL -- Sherwood Wolf Hunt (red and green) in action.

It’s all systems go for one of Sherwood Wolf Hunt’s biggest days of the year this coming Saturday after they celebrated victory in a cup semi-final.

Wolf Hunt retrieved a ten-point deficit to beat NEW Ravens 48-22 in the Midlands Rugby League’s Premier Divison second tier competition.

Now they host Boston Buccaneers in the final at 1 pm on Saturday, which launches a day of top rugby league and entertainment at the club’s Debdale headquarters.

Wolf Hunt’s shopwiece match will be followed by the league leaders’ final between Northampton Demons and Leamington Royals. And in the evening, the Sherwood Summer Spectacular Music Festival takes place in conjunction with Electric Bear Productions.

The free festival will feature several local bands to suit all ages and tastes, and runs from 5 pm to 10 pm. Other family attractions throughout the day will include a bouncy castle, face painting, food and drinks, a barbecue and open-air bar.

Wolf Hunt’s achievement in reaching the second tier final has been hailed as another remarkable landmark for the club, who have finished fifth in the Premier Division table, behind only more experienced outfits who are all former champions.

Mind you, the win was not gained without a scare. Having thrashed bottom-of-the-table Ravens 100-6 previously, Wolf Hunt could be forgiven for expecting an easy ride. But their complacency nearly backfired.

Starting with a weakened squad, missing eight players from the previous week’s triumph over Boston, they did start well when Bradley Gozzard ran the length of the field to score close to the sticks. But then several poor decisions, dropped balls and needlessly conceded penalties put them under pressure. Ravens took advantage with three tries from 30 yards and, with 20 minutes gone, Wolf Hunt suddenly found themselves 16-6 down.

Thankfully, they had pulled it back to 22-18 by half-time before successfully going back to basics in the second period. With Scott Thacker controlling the middle and Brent Leivers turning in a man-of-the-match display, a series of tries delighted the 120 crowd.

The day was marred by a suspected serious neck-injury to Mansfield-based Ryan Banner, playing for Ravens. But although the air ambulance was called to take him to hospital, he was later given the all-clear.