A Mist Opportunity!
Depending on how high up the bank you were stood watching the game on Saturday would dictate how much of the game you could see. The thick fog that hung over Paton Field was there at kick off and remained until the referee decided to call the game off 6 minutes before the result would have stood.
The players let their frustrations be known to each other, the Harrogate RUFC captain and team, to their credit, all wanted to play on and finish the game even though we were ahead and the result would have stood if the game had been called after the 60 minute mark.
It is not just the relatively unchanged conditions that makes the referees decision suspicious, but also the proximity to the 60-minute cut-off point that would allow the result to stand. Yes, the referee was within his rights to have called the game if it had become unsafe but should the game have been started as the conditions had remained the same? My personal opinion is that the players wished to continue, regardless of what the touch judges had claimed, both touch lines were visible on the pitch, the captains both wanted to finish the game, so why not continue? At least 6 more minutes could have been played until the result could have stood and the expense incurred by both clubs for staging the league game would have been worthwhile.
The game will now have to be replayed and Harrogate will have to make the trip down to us again. Will that result be decided only by the players on the pitch? We will see.
This incident should not detract form the dominant display by Caldy beating, second in the league, Harrogate, convincingly given conditions and time played. The back row was dominant, the half backs were superior and the pack bossed the scrum. Caldy will not fear the re-match and if anything will have gained confidence from this almost victory.
Next up is Macclesfield this Saturday, another very big game away from home. We only won the home fixture to Mac last year, but we played poorly at their place and with a weakened team. The story at our place was very different, they found no holes in our defence, we knocked them back time and time again until they ran out of ideas. Well this year we still have the best defence in the league, long may it continue!
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