BRADFORD & Bingley have dramatically avoided relegation from North One East, and chairman Tim Robinson is now excited for a couple of tasty West Yorkshire derbies next season.

The Rugby Football Union have used a formula based around home and away records to determine promotion and relegation in the community game, after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the possibility of playing the rest of the campaign.

The Bees were in the relegation zone when the season stopped, but crucially, had a game in hand on Percy Park and Durham City, who were just a point above them.

It means that the Wagon Laners’ revised points total of 64.53 has seen them jump above the pair, with Percy Park (63.82) suffering relegation instead.

Discussing B&B’s escape, Robinson said: “A number of players left us post-Christmas, which had an effect.

“We lost our last match but won the one before that (47-24 against Morley), which proved to be our saviour in the end.

“Malton & Norton were meant to play ourselves (but the game on March 14 was called off due to flooding issues at Wagon Lane), so there were four teams just above us that we had a game in hand on.

“I think we had 11 wins too, where there were other teams who had less, so I think that was one of those things in the RFU’s algorithm that got us across the line.”

Looking ahead to the next campaign, Robinson said: “No-one associated with the club wanted to see us go down, and we have some great matches ahead now next season.

“We have a great local derby with Ilkley now they’ve come down from North Premier and then one against Old Brodleians (Halifax), who’ve just been promoted from Yorkshire One.

“Obviously that means the cost of buses is massively reduced, having local derbies, while more people are going to come along and watch those games too.”

Robinson added: “Our recruitment drive for next season has already begun, with (head coach) Hugh Gumbs and (senior rugby chairman) Chris Hemsley looking at signings we can possibly bring in.

“We don’t pay our players but we did lose a couple to Bridlington for this season, as they were seduced by payment.

“Those players have helped keep Brid up (in Yorkshire One), and we've survived too, so it's worked out well for us both.”

Robinson admitted the club are worried they will not be able to host the money-spinning Bingley Weekender in September due to the virus situation, but they have received a major boost regarding another potential financial headache.

Wagon Lane suffered severe flooding damage after a series of storms earlier in the year, but Robinson said: “Sport England have given us a £7,000 grant as part of the Flood Relief Fund.

“That allows us to reseed the pitches, sort out the damaged barriers around the ground and replace the carpets, so we owe a debt of gratitude to Sport England for that.”