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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Player safety reason for Whitehaven RL match call-off

Whitehaven's opening home game of the campaign against North Wales yesterday was called off due to player safety considerations following more heavy rain.

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Confident: Haven’s Barry Richardson, left, and Town’s Mark Fryer

A small patch of ground at the Railway End, in the opposite corner to that which traditionally became heavy in wet weather before improvement work was carried out, was considered too dangerous.

The clash was called off by match commissioner Peter Gilmour before the Crusaders started their journey to Cumbria. Haven will speak to the North Wales club today about a new date.

Chief executive Barry Richardson said yesterday: “The ground staff has done a fantastic job, but an awful amount of rain has fallen.

“We are really disappointed. Most of the pitch was playable, it was purely a player-safety issue.

“When we walked on it this morning, at part of the Railway End, your foot was sinking under the surface. It could have caused real damage to players’ knees.

“It means we now have a more difficult start to the season with three away games. But coach Dave Woods is keen we get in some quality training this week and go to Leigh with the best possible chance of doing well.”

Haven lost at Keighley last weekend and travel to Leigh and Dewsbury over the next two weeks before entertaining title-chasing Halifax.

The Crusaders’ clash could be rearranged for a Sunday if both clubs make an early exit from the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.

Haven and Workington Town will join amateur outfits Wath Brow, Egremont and Kells in tonight’s draw, made at the University of Gloucestershire at 6.10pm.

Third round ties will be played over the weekend of March 15-16.

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