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Leeds Carnegie beat freeze but it's snow go for majority
The advantage of having a third-generation pitch available became apparent on Saturday.
Apart from Leeds Carnegie’s 30-30 draw with Leinster A that wrapped up their British & Irish Cup programme at West Park Leeds, and Burnage’s 34-15 victory over Rossendale in SSE National League Three North, both on artificial pitches, action was very sporadic.
Stourbridge supporters spent all morning clearing snow from their pitch but they lost 21-12 to Bromsgrove in National League Two North in some rare action on proper grass in the North and Midlands.
Wharfedale’s contest against Loughborough Students in National League One was one victim on Saturday, and home programme editor Gordon Brown said: “The pitch probably has three inches of snow on it and although it is going to be a bit warmer this week, it is still going to be cold.”
Baildon’s home derby against Old Modernians in Yorkshire Division Three was also bowed to the weather, and Baildon’s director of rugby Andy Whitley said: “The log fire is going and we will watch the Heineken Cup on television.
“There are four to five inches of snow on the pitch, and by Thursday night it became obvious that we weren’t going to play, and next week is not looking too good either.”
Cleckheaton’s home Yorkshire Cup semi-final against Morley has been moved to Saturday, February 23 as a result of league fixtures backing up.
Moorend spokesman Alan Bentley said: “We called the North One East match against Pocklington off on Friday.
“Our coach Dave Harrison has announced to the players that he is leaving us at the end of the season for family reasons.
“He has been with us for four years and, having been with Halifax before that, was with us for the three seasons prior to that.
“It is his ambition that we finish as high up the table as possible this season and win the Yorkshire Cup.”
Keighley’s director of rugby Graeme Sheffield said: “We called off our sponsor on Wednesday for the match against Wheatley Hills so they didn’t have to sort the food out, and called the game off on Friday.
“The pitch is frozen underneath a blanket of snow.”
Otley’s home match with Luctonians in National League Two North was also postponed on Friday, and club secretary Marc Lawrence said: “Our ground is soft in places but hard everywhere else.”
Bradford Salem’s Yorkshire Division Two derby at Yarnbury was also off, with Montpellier v Toulon being the TV fare at Shay Lane instead.
Bradford & Bingley’s first-team manager Benji Pickin said: “Our National League Three North match at Harrogate was called off on Friday lunchtime and has been re-arranged for Saturday, February 2.”
That is the date that most of Saturday’s matches in the Northern divisions will be, weather permitting, played.