South Molton considering appeal over match abandonment

South Molton Rugby

South Molton Rugby - Credit: South Molton Rugby Club

South Molton have got until Sunday to decide whether to appeal against the ‘result’ of their abandoned game against New Cross. 

Referee Steve Smith called the game off with 19 minutes to go after a New Cross player suffered a nasty knee injury. 

Molton captain Reece Eury and opposite number Ryan Wotton were asked by the referee whether they game should stop and the result stand. New Cross led 12-5 at the time. 

Competition regulations don’t allow captains and referees to decide the outcome of abandoned games, although their views are taken into account when league officials decide if a match should be replayed. 

Phil Spearey, the Devon League secretary, said his decision is to let the result stand, although South Molton do have the right to appeal. 

Said Spearey: “After speaking to both clubs and the referee, I have decided not to have the game replayed and the score when the game was stopped will stand. 

“I made my decision on the facts: 

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“The player had sustained a severe injury where he shouldn’t be moved in case of further injury, there was no other pitch to continue the game 

“The referee and both team captains agreed the game should be stopped with New Cross being awarded the game and South Molton claiming a losing bonus point. 

“Daylight was failing, along with the lack of available weekends to reschedule the game” 

Spearey said a major factor in his decision was that ‘both clubs were happy for the result to stand’ when he contacted them the day after the game. 

“Later, I received a call saying they (South Molton) may change their mind, so, if they want, they can appeal,” added Spearey. 

South Molton have seven days in which to lodge an appeal and will need to lodge a £50 deposit with the league as a condition of a hearing.  

South Molton are away to Old Plymothians this Saturday. 

The entire match programme in Western Counties West was called off last Saturday, mostly due to Covid cases at clubs. 

Bideford were due to entertain Chard, but the game was one of six to fall foul of Covid infections.  

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