Cup entries now being taken for 2017/18
9th June 2017
Teams from outside of the NVL have three weeks left if they want to enter next season’s national Cup competition.
Across both the men’s and women’s competitions last season, one out of every six teams came from outside the NVL pyramid. Two of those teams – Willesden in the men’s competition and Cambridge University in the women’s – made it all the way to the Shield semi-finals.
With many teams using the Cup as an opportunity to benchmark their abilities, competition organisers hope that this year’s non-league intake can exceed the total of 16 teams who lined up last season.
The road to Finals Day in Kettering starts in the first week of September when any men’s preliminary round matches will be played. The first round proper is then scheduled for September 16. In the women’s competition, any preliminary matches will be held on September 17, followed by the first round on October 8. Teams who are knocked out of the Cup in the early rounds drop into the Shield competition.
Entry for current NVL clubs is processed automatically as part of the pre-season registration. Non-league clubs will need to complete an entry form and pay a £30 entry fee per team. The deadline for entries is July 2.
Maya Wright is the secretary of the Cambridge University women’s side that made it to the Shield semi-finals last year. After exiting the Cup at the hands of Super 8 side Pulsepoint London Orcas, her team progressed through the Shield competition, dispatching Northampton, Solent and Dartford before losing 3-1 in the semi-final to Ashcombe Dorking.
Maya commented: “It was the first time we had entered the Cup competition. The team entered initially to increase their playing time together and to allow players who would not normally be in the starting six for BUCS matches to gain match experience. This plan worked very well, allowing many different combinations of people to play together and allowing us to get used to playing with each other, especially after having a large influx of new players at the start of last season.”
“The experience was very rewarding and reaching the semi-finals was a great achievement. We had many thrilling matches leading up to the semi-finals, notably coming back from two sets down to beat Northampton 3-2. Although the team was very disappointed not to make it to the final, it was a great experience playing against NVL clubs around the UK and we most definitely will participate again next season and fight to go one step further.”