Halifax coach Simon Grix says part-timers have no expectation of victory against St Helens

Halifax players celebrate their quarter-final win at Bradford. Picture: SWPix
Halifax players celebrate their quarter-final win at Bradford. Picture: SWPix

Halifax coach Simon Grix admits his team of part-timers will have no expectations of victory when they meet St Helens in the semi-finals of the Coral Challenge Cup.

The tie, which is a repeat of the 1987 final at Wembley which Halifax won 19-18, will take place at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday, July 27 with the kick off confirmed for 4.30pm.

The Coral Women’s Challenge Cup Final will kick off at 11.15am (to be shown live on BBC Online) with Warrington v Hull FC (to be shown live on BBC1) starting at 2pm and then a

4.30pm start for St Helens v Halifax (to be shown live on BBC2)

Golden Point extra time will be played if any of the three games is drawn.

Halifax became the first non-Super League team to reach the last four for 13 years with a 20-16 victory over Bradford in an all-Championship quarter-final at Odsal.

To become the first lower league team to reach the final in the competition's 122-year history, Halifax will have to pull off one of the biggest shocks of all time against a Saints team currently riding high at the top of the Super League table, who hammered Wakefield 48-10 in Saturday's quarter-final.

In the other semi-final Warrington, last year's runners-up, will play Hull in a repeat of the 2016 final they lost 16-12.

"I think we got the team the other two wanted to avoid, didn't we?" Grix said.

"That will be brilliant. It's our final, let's be right, we're not going there with any expectations of winning by any means.

"But hopefully we'll give a good account of ourselves. The young lads in the team, Chester Butler and so on, might be telling their grandkids about this one day.

"Our fans get another day out and a deserved day out."

Grix was a toddler when Halifax won the Challenge Cup for the fifth time in 1987 and he is hoping their run to the last four will rekindle interest in rugby league in his home-town club.

"It means a lot to me," he said "I think rugby league has probably slid in our area, it's probably gone down the pecking order with other sports, certainly in participation at grassroots.

"Hopefully some kids are picking up a ball and talking about Halifax rather than our neighbours, the Bulls or Huddersfield.

"It's very big. I was still in nappies the last time we got to a semi-final. The older fans remember those days and hopefully this will engage a few new fans and gets the younger generation on board.

"It will be big for us. We'll be everyone's underdogs on the day.

"The lads will be up on roofs tomorrow and fitting boilers and laying bricks but then we'll turn our attention to Leigh and then a little further down the track we'll prepare ourselves for what will be a big experience for them."