‘No option’ but to postponeDate published: Monday, March 7, 2016
THE postponement of yesterday’s Oldham RL versus Bradford Bulls game denied Roughyeds income from “one of, if not the, biggest crowds of the season”, said a bitterly-disappointed Chris Hamilton.
Unexpected overnight frost on Saturday scuppered optimism that snow on the Bower Fold pitch would disappear naturally.
Local official Tony Martin formally ruled the snowbound pitch unplayable at approx. 10am, leaving Roughyeds with a not inconsiderable financial loss on a day that dawned with the potential to be a money-spinner.
Whether the game can be rescheduled for a Sunday later in the season —there are limited opportunities for that, hinging on Ladbrokes Challenge Cup results — or arranged by necessity for an evening in midweek, remains to be seen.
Said Hamilton: “For lots of reasons, the last thing we wanted was a postponement.
“Stalybridge FC were also keen for the game to go ahead, but as events turned out we had no option but to postpone.
“Overnight frost, not predicted, kept the snow on the pitch and made Bower Fold look like a stadium in another part of the country.
“In advance of the game, we did a lot of prep work off the field, arranging for extra staff, extra turnstiles to be open for Bradford fans and making sure that Bradford had plenty of tickets for advance sales last week.
“We are now left to pick up the costs associated with a postponed fixture.”
Scott Naylor’s men stay above Whitehaven, Swinton and Workington at the bottom end of the table. Over the weekend, Whitehaven beat Swinton, while Workington went down 44-12 at Batley Bulldogs.
Roughyeds travel to bottom-of-the-table Workington next Sunday, knowing that in terms of staying out of the bottom two and consolidating their position in the Championship — as opposed to generating much-needed revenue — this is a more important test than the one against Bradford.