BRADFORD Salem chairman Neil Klenk thinks that it is time for clubs to be hit in the pocket for forfeiting county cup ties.

There may be the carrot of a Twickenham final next season for them all, but of the scheduled 27 matches this weekend in either the Yorkshire Cup, Yorkshire Shield, Yorkshire Silver Trophy or Yorkshire Vase, ten had already been postponed as of yesterday lunchtime.

“The Yorkshire competitions are becoming a joke,” said Klenk, whose club have had the pleasure of playing at Twickenham three times in the past.

“It is too easy for clubs to call matches off and it is time for them to be penalised financially.”

The most notable casualty locally is Ilkley v Bradford & Bingley in the first round of the Yorkshire Cup, and Klenk added: “I feel for Ilkley as they may have arranged sponsorship and food.”

Bradford & Bingley’s secretary Nick Patterson explained: “We are struggling for a front row.

“Ryan Wederell is struggling, Matt Cochrane and Alex Keeton are injured, Michael Crotch is unavailable and Sam White is still studying for his PhD.

“It would have been nice to play as we are building up some momentum but it would have been unfair to have thrown in a couple of 18-year-olds, such as Will Bentley, to face a North Premier side in Ilkley.”

The Stacks Field club therefore have a walkover into the quarter-finals in February at either Harrogate or Rotherham Titans, but one Yorkshire Cup tie that is going ahead tomorrow is Cleckheaton’s trip to York for the right to travel to Wharfedale or Pocklington.

Salem, who had a first-round walkover against Guisborough, were due to be at Middlesbrough in the Shield.

But Klenk explained: “Selby’s first league match against Hullensians was abandoned because the referee was injured, which meant that they could not play their Shield tie at Middlesbrough on the appointed day as they had to play the re-arranged league match.

“Now we have found out that Selby have given Middlesbrough a walkover, but too late in the day for us to play at Middlesbrough this weekend.”

“Apparently Selby are now advertising for people to come down and watch their third and fourth teams at home and they will also be screening the England v New Zealand match.”

There is better news from the Vase, where Baildon are at Halifax Vandals and Wibsey host Ossett, both in the second round.

Wibsey are leading Yorkshire Division Four North West, while Ossett are front-runners in Yorkshire Division Four South East, and both have 100 per cent records.

“Something has to give but it is a test that we are looking forward to, and if players can’t get up for playing in a match that could help them get to Twickenham then they are in the wrong sport,” said Wibsey’s fly half Andy Robinson.

“We are missing Kyle Carter, but Scott Smith has won a man-of-the-match award playing at scrum half and we have won without Kyle before.

“We also have Ryan Goldsborough back on the wing so we have a strong set of backs.”

Wibsey’s chairman Steve Brooke said: “If we get to Twickenham next season, I might retire at 50!

“It is a nice thought anyway but there is no excuse for clubs not fulfilling cup fixtures if they run two teams.”

Wibsey (home to Ossett): B Wright; R Goldsborough, B Naylor, N Marchant, R Moore; A Robinson, S Smith; S Birkbeck, J Brown, J Bradbury, E Cousins, J Tordoff, M Darragh, R Simpson, M Kite. Replacements: B Mpofu, A Cerson, L Wilson, S Foulds, D Wilkinson.