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Blue & Golds’ Challenge Cup tie postponed

BREAKING NEWS, FRIDAY: Players and officials of Beverley Amateur Rugby League Football Club have been left stunned by the news this morning (Friday, January 26) that tomorrow’s First Round proper of the Rugby League Challenge Cup against Shaw Cross Sharks has been called off. The Dewsbury-based club, who play in Division One of the National Conference League, have told Beverley their pitch, owned by the local authority, has been deemed unplayable.

The Blue & Golds’ Director of Rugby, Pat Howdle, has told us he was “shocked” to receive the call and said that, apparently, the local authority had issued a “not playable” decision covering all their pitches for this weekend because of weather conditions.

“This has come as a huge disappointment,” Howdle told Beverley FM. “This is a major game for us, and the squad has been working hard to prepare for the game – one of the biggest in our current history.

“We did offer to play the tie at our pitch at the Leisure Centre but Shaw Cross declined and we are now in talks to re-arrange the game,” he said.

There’s a strong possibility the match will now be played at Shaw Cross next week (Saturday, February 3), but that will mean Beverley’s planned pre-season friendly against Eastmoor Dragons will be affected. Howdle also revealed any tie on February 3 will mean club coach Scott Taylor will miss the action, because he will be in Australia with Hull FC for their tour Down Under.

“He’s gutted to be missing the game, but we will try to do him proud,” said Howdle.

The Blue & Golds are playing in the Challenge Cup (won by Hull FC for the past two seasons) for the first time in many years and it evokes memories of their run to the last 16 of the competition almost 23 years ago, when they were eventually knocked out of the competition by Batley at The Boulevard in front of more than 3,000 spectators.

This year, off course, Beverley will be playing in Division 3 of the National League, stepping up from the Premier Division of the Yorkshire League. The season starts on February 24th, when Beverley kick-off with a home match against Cumbrian outfit Barrow Island at Beverley Leisure Centre.

Big plans are in hand to make it a day to remember, culminating with the match itself.