Frustration as heavy pitch scuppers match

Frustrations: Garstang were on top form before their match against Trafford MV was abandoned

Frustrations: Garstang were on top form before their match against Trafford MV was abandoned

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Rugby Union

Garstang.....................10

Trafford MV.................0

(match abandoned)

Garstang could not contain their frustration on Saturday when their match was abandoned after barely 20 minutes when the home side had established a healthy 10-0 lead with two tries scored.

Both pitches were heavy but 1st XV manager Mark Walton decided that they were fit for purpose following an early morning pitch inspection.

Upon arrival the referees had no qualms about the state of the pitches and the games kicked off as anticipated at 2.15pm.

From the kick off it was obvious that the heavy conditions favoured the dominant Garstang pack and, despite a few understandable handling errors, they soon established good field position.

From a line out 20 metres out, Garstang drove to within a couple of feet of the line before the referee blew for a penalty. A tap was taken and Orr smashed into the defensive wall, the ball was quickly recycled and Tom Parkinson managed to force his way over the line (5-0).

Garstang’s tails were well and truly up at this stage but Trafford continued to pose a threat with their sharp backs who demonstrated quality handling skills in the sodden conditions.

However, Garstang were also playing smart rugby and they continued to pose a threat with a clever kicking game which the Trafford back three were struggling to deal with.

With just over 15 minutes played Garstang again penned the Trafford team to their own line, and when they got a rolling maul going they couldn’t be stopped as John O’Brien peeled off the back and grounded the ball for the second try in the corner. The conversion was wide of the mark but Garstang still had a healthy 10-0 lead.

At this point Trafford questioned the conditions with the referee and requested that the game was abandoned.

It was fair to say that the conditions were far from ideal, but safety was never really an issue so there should have been no need to call a halt to proceedings at this point.

However, in order for the game to continue both teams had to be satisfied that the safety of the players was not at risk – Trafford felt that this was not the case so they elected to leave the field and abandon the game.

This left us with the absurd situation of a game taking place on the adjacent field between Garstang Blues and Preston Grasshoppers 5ths, while the two 1st XVs had no game. It was a disappointing end to an afternoon which had promised so much in the early stages of the game.

On Saturday November 10 the 1st XV are at home against Bolton in a rearranged league game from 2.15pm

The Blues are also in action but they take a break from league rugby as they play away against Fleetwood 3rds in the first round of the Raging Bull Shield, kick-off 2.30pm.

GARSTANG: Miller, Anscomb, Jones, Parkinson, Orr, Billington, Slater, O’Brien, Brown, Robinson, Chaplin, M.Walling, Bolton, Peck, Nickson. Replacements: C.Johnston, I.Walling, Pendlebury, Lambert.