Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City to contest Dalton Shield

PUBLISHED: 11:59 02 August 2012

Dalton Challenge Shield poster

Dalton Challenge Shield poster


FIERCE local rivals Hatfield Town and Welwyn Garden City will lock horns on Saturday as they compete for the Dalton Challenge Shield at the Gosling Stadium, 3pm kick-off.

The competition has been revived, having not been contested since the start of the 2005/06 season, and both sides are eager to get their hands on the historic silverware.

Hatfield are the current holders of the Shield, having secured a 1-0 victory courtesy of a 40-yard goal from Neil Doctor seven years ago.

Town boss Mike Hollister said: “We will probably have a couple of players missing, but we will be going out to win the game, without doubt.

“We should be looking at getting victories against teams who play at the level below, and this is no different.

“It is also a chance for us [coaching staff] to have a look at the players’ performance levels and it gives them all the chance to impress.”

WGC boss Scott O’Donoghue will be looking for his players to give their all to prove themselves worthy of a first-team place for the new SSML Division One season.

“It is part of pre-season, but as we are getting closer to the start of the new season, it is an important game,” he said.

“We obviously want to win every game and we will be putting out a strong side.

“Every pre-season game is a chance for the players to go out there, improve their fitness and show they are good enough for the team, and that’s the way we look at it.”

The Dalton Challenge Shield, named after former managing editor of the Welwyn Hatfield Times Charles Dalton, was started back in 1950, and there have been 22 meetings since between the two derby rivals.

WGC have triumphed 12 times, with Hatfield victorious in nine, and one game was a draw.

It was Hatfield who won the first ever meeting back in 1950, courtesy of an own-goal, the attendance was 750.

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