Strong calls from north west clubs to return to winter rugby
Last updated at 12:19, Friday, 13 July 2012
There have been strong calls to end the experiment of summer rugby from amateur clubs in the north west.
But Cumberland ARL will make their decision on the future when their current season ends with the top five play-offs in October.
Chairman Roger Blair said: “As I go around the area people have been asking me ‘what’s going on’ as they give various reasons why they think it hasn’t worked.
“I tell them that the clubs got what they wanted and that it is only a season-long experiment. As soon as we finish in October we will be sitting down with the clubs for their reaction.
“Cumberland ARL is the only league in the county which sent out a questionnaire to its member clubs halfway through the season asking how it was going and what we could do to tweak it to improve things.
“When we took the vote there were only two clubs, Glasson and Great Clifton, who voted to stay as we were. Another four voted to take a month’s break around Christmas and New Year, but basically stay in the winter.
“Eight clubs voted to re-align with the RFL’s summer rugby so democratically that was the way we went.
“It’s interesting that we proposed having a two month break in July and August, and although there won’t be any League games after this week-end, I see that clubs have organised nines and are taking part in touch rugby tournaments.”
It was Leigh East’s chairman Phil Johnson who put out a rallying call for a return to winter.
The Leigh East chairman has highlighted lost revenue, a fall in attendances and family commitments, as just three of the reasons as to why the RFL’s move to summer is failing.
“After sampling the first part of the summer season we at Leigh East are strongly in favour of moving back to the winter leagues.
“The reasons for this are stacked against the summer leagues. Firstly finance as our crowds are down which reflects on the bar takings. We have missed out on revenue from weddings, christenings and a major one for us is that the players have a duty as family men to attend weddings, stag parties along with family holidays as well as giving time to their young families.
“We all have obligations to our families in order to keep and maintain healthy relationships in our private lives and the usual break in the summer used to give us the time to regenerate our love and passion for the game. I think for the good of the game BARLA & NCL should get together and put egos to one side to prevent our clubs and this great game going into decline.
“I am sure this is the case at other clubs, I watched Leigh Miners against Hull Dockers the other week and what would normally be a three hundred crowd plus was a mere one hundred and fifty due to holidays and people spending time with families.”
Meanwhile, this week-end Kells are bidding to add two more additions to the club’s trophy cabinet.
Tonight at Maryport’s Athletic Ground the senior side take-on Cockermouth Titans in the final of the Cumberland Cup, in historical terms possibly the most prestigious trophy on offer.
Then tomorrow afternoon it the turn of the A team to go into action against Flimby in the final of the Dale Campbell Savours Cup.
Whilst Kells will start strong favourites to land the Cumberland Cup, but the A team are expecting a tough contest against a Flimby side going strongly in Division Two.
For whilst Kells already have the Amateur Cup under lock and key, and could complete a treble this week-end, Flimby are hoping it could be the start of a double for them.
Kells are fresh from last Friday’s comfortable Amateur Cup win over injury-hit Glasson.
First published at 11:31, Friday, 13 July 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk