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A Saturday of very Unusual Circumstances but not Covid

Sutton & Epsom 0-0 CS Stags 1863
(Home Walkover)
Realists this season might have expected games could be cancelled or rearranged due to the Covid situation. However, this weekend there were two matches cancelled for most unusual occurrences. Sadly, one of the fixtures to fall victim to the fates was the return of league action to Rugby Lane as CS Stags 1863 could not comply with league regulations surrounding the front row. Even more unusual was Tring’s withdrawal from their fixture at Dorking due to an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease. In both cases the opposition are given a walkover and 5 points whilst the team unable fulfil the fixture are penalised by 5 points and for the purposes of the league table the score is recorded as 0-0.

To expand on the woes CS Stags 1863 they only had a brace of front row available with a pair of concussions, a broken foot, a broken wrist, a torn bicep and a torn hamstring being the elongated injury list for the Front Row Union. For those who questioned why the game was not played with uncontested scrums. It is not allowed to start a fixture with uncontested scrums. Indeed, if the statutory front row replacement is not present on the bench the moment either prop or hooker is removed during the game due to injury or foul play the game continues as a friendly and the league points are forfeited.

To add to the above sanctions if a side is forced to withdraw from an away fixture in the first half of the season they are forced to play the return engagement as an away game. This is to compensate the hosts who may have endured costs or loss of incomes through, among many scenarios, a league lunch, programme sales or gate revenue. This means that the pre-Christmas match on 18th December will be Sutton & Epsom hosting CS Stags 1863 at Rugby Lane. So for those of you either with an antipathy to Christmas shopping in a packed High Street or who struggle to survive two weeks without league rugby this is a seasonal gift.

Finally, it is a shame that four players were denied the opportunity to make their debuts in the Black & White. Let us hope that none of Tom Boaden, Tom Carling, Kieran Finney and Archie Fitzgerald become the answer to the cruel trivia question: “Who was selected for their debut in the cancelled match in 2021 against CS Stags 1863 but subsequently never made a league appearance for Sutton & Epsom?”

Hopefully, normal service will resume next Saturday 18th September when S&E visit Hooks Lane to take on Havant who have made a fine start to the season with two victories.

For the record….

Sutton & Epsom
Ciaran Mohr, Tom Carling, Archie Fitzgerald, Jamie See, Brad Meeson, Tom Lennard, Ross Parsons, Alex Mount, Chris Farrell, Will Lloyd, Matt Harwood, George Drye ©, Jordan Coombes, James Caddy and Matt Whitaker. Replacements: Tom Boaden, Kieran Finney & Owen Clemett.

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