Bedford Blues have expressed their “disappointment and frustration” at the last minute postponement of their Championship fixture in Caldy on Saturday afternoon.
Despite repeated communications from Caldy Rugby Club on the morning of the game confirming that the fixture would go ahead despite the sub-zero temperatures in the north, the fixture was postponed “due to unsafe playing conditions”.
A brief ‘holding’ statement from Bedford Blues released on Sunday 3rd December expressed the views of the club.
“We are extremely disappointed and frustrated that yesterday’s game against Caldy at Paton Field was cancelled at the very last minute.
“We thank our tremendous supporters who made the long journey north and will keep you informed of any outcome following Tuesday’s meeting of the RFU disputes committee.”
While Blues fans were taking advantage of the new heavily discounted away travel for the first time, they were ultimately left disappointed with the postponement announced at 2.15pm, fifteen minutes after the scheduled kick off.
“Seems a bit like a stock reply”, exclaimed one Blues fan on ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter.
“Now tell us the real reason why a game that was playable at 11am, 12pm and 1pm was not playable at 2.15”
Caldy Rugby Club also posted a statement on the postponement.
“The decision to abandon the game was not taken lightly.
“The Club’s top priority is always the safety and well-being of the players, and after thorough consideration and player input, it was deemed that certain areas of the pitch had not thawed sufficiently to ensure a safe and fair contest.
“Caldy Rugby Club acknowledges the disappointment this may cause to our loyal supporters, both locally and those who may have travelled to witness the exciting clash. The Club appreciates the understanding of the fans as safety is paramount in all decisions made by the organisation.”
The decision poses a challenge for both sides, as Bedford Blues have now played just four games while other teams in the Championship have played as many as six.
The league now have a challenge to find a suitable replacement date, although one Blues fan on ‘X’ suggested tongue-in-cheek to reschedule the game on Boxing Day at Goldington Road; a solution that is highly unlikely but would bring some Christmas cheer to many local rugby fans.
Bedford Blues have yet another fortnight’s wait to play their next league game, which is against Nottingham at Goldington Road on 16th December.
Elsewhere in the Championship, there was a massive shock at the Richmond Athletic Ground as London Scottish scored a last minute conversion to beat league leaders, Ealing 19-17 while Hartpury beat Coventry 47-29 and Nottingham squeezed past Cambridge.