THIS year’s Barton Townley Cup kicks off tomorrow when Dalton take on Hindpool Tigers at Kelland Park in the first round.

For the home side, Ross Clayton and Jack Crarey are ruled out, with Crarey facing the prospect of having to undergo a shoulder operation.

Dalton enjoyed success in both the Harry Warman and CJS Knockout Cups last year, and coach Dave High is optimistic for the clash with Hindpool in the area’s senior cup.

“We are a relatively young side, a bunch of lads who have no fear of the opposition,” said High.

“Names mean nothing to them they just go out and give it their all, they are good honest lads.

“Joe Crarey is a good leader and we have several promising lads some that have appeared for Furness Raiders. Ioan Hayes is doubtful – he has a knee injury – but with lads like Harri Brown and Elliott Stockdale on board we will go all right.”

Hinpool, now under the guidance of Darren Clarke, have a new recruit in Egremont rugby union forward Gavin Mitchell and are hopeful Paul Rickleton is back from work duties in Scotland.

“Training has gone well,” said Clarke. “We have had two good sessions this week and a friendly at Glasson last week where we lost 30-24.

“Morale is good in the camp and we aim to progress to the next round, but we will respect Dalton who are a good side.”