East Lancashire Lions look to climb the Rugby League ladder

First published in Rugby Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

DEVELOPING rugby league club East Lancashire Lions are keen to join National League Two within the next three years.

The club, who are based at Darwen’s Anchor Ground, were formed in 2006 and currently play in the Conference National.

They finished a distant last in 2008 after winning just two of their 18 matches, but the Lions believe their location gives them potential for growth.

A place in National League Two - the third tier of British rugby league - would have to be achieved by election rather than promotion but, with the Rugby Football League keen to have clubs in as many areas as possible, the Lions hope performances on the field will give them a chance to move up.

Kevin Henry, who is the chairman of both East Lancashire Lions and North West Counties First Division football club Darwen, said: “We’ve got plans for the East Lancashire Lions to go into National League Two by 2010 or 2011.

“We’d need to get the ground right. It’s just about okay for North West Counties First Division but if the East Lancashire Lions were playing in the Challenge Cup against Wigan, Saints or Leeds there could be 2 or 3,000 there.

“And we’d need some success on the field. We didn’t get last season but we’re hoping that will change.

“We’ve got a march on everyone else because we’ve got our own ground. We don’t have that economic drain.

“And the interest is there because we were told by the RFL in 2006 that they had addresses of 840 people from the area on their database from the previous two years.

“And, with the East Lancashire Lions, the money we’re making is actually better than with Darwen, although it’s not big numbers.”

Henry is also continuing to explore the possibility of bringing a baseball or American football team to the Anchor Ground.

Comments (1)

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1:41pm Wed 26 Nov 08

RoverLion says...

I've been watching East Lancs Lions for the last 2 seasons and it's a good summer afternoon out.

The standard of rugby is very good, with some excellent ball handling on display.

Anyone a fan of rugby league or curious about the game should turn up at the Anchor, which always had a good supply of refreshments (alcoholic if you so wish!)and food on sale. The family orientated attitute of RL is also seen at the games with good relations always had with the always friendly visiting supporters.

It would be nice to have a decent website for club information this season and some support from the local press now all (thankfully) the pie in the sky talk of The Anchor becoming some super-stadium has gone.(saying this the current ground is fine for the league the club plays in, plus the club own the ground, unlike a lot of its competitors)

Finally, I'm pleased to see the old/new chairman focus on building the club from grass roots rather than it being a side-thought to an imaginary property development.

Here's to getting together a good team in 09 to build on some encouraging performances to the end of a very mixed 08 season.
I've been watching East Lancs Lions for the last 2 seasons and it's a good summer afternoon out. The standard of rugby is very good, with some excellent ball handling on display. Anyone a fan of rugby league or curious about the game should turn up at the Anchor, which always had a good supply of refreshments (alcoholic if you so wish!)and food on sale. The family orientated attitute of RL is also seen at the games with good relations always had with the always friendly visiting supporters. It would be nice to have a decent website for club information this season and some support from the local press now all (thankfully) the pie in the sky talk of The Anchor becoming some super-stadium has gone.(saying this the current ground is fine for the league the club plays in, plus the club own the ground, unlike a lot of its competitors) Finally, I'm pleased to see the old/new chairman focus on building the club from grass roots rather than it being a side-thought to an imaginary property development. Here's to getting together a good team in 09 to build on some encouraging performances to the end of a very mixed 08 season. RoverLion
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