Rugby Union: Damage fears for Abbeydale outfield

Rotherham Town cc pitch damage
Rotherham Town cc pitch damage
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Officials at Rotherham Town CC hope the cricket outfield at Abbeydale doesn’t suffer the sort of damage (above) they had at their Clifton Lane ground as a result of a Rotherham Titans rugby game being televised.

Titans have switched their televised Championship clash with Leeds on April 19 to Sheffield RUFC’s home at Abbeydale Park.

The rugby and cricket clubs, who share Clifton Lane as tenants, had talks over the staging of the Yorkshire derby. Each club takes ‘occupation’ of the ground at a stipulated time at the start of their respective seasons and as the April 19 date fell within Town’s ‘occupation’ they considered it appropriate to make a charge.

However, the rugby club baulked at the £2,500 amount.

Town CC secretary Jim Dixon says he cannot remember a year when they have not given way to a request allowing the Rugby Club to stage a home fixture (whilst moving a cricket fixture) during the cricket club’s ‘occupation’ period.

“We had donations of £750 and £1,000 in the first two years (from 2004) but during the last several years we have made no charge whatsoever,” said Dixon.

“Our committee felt that, this time, we considered it appropriate to make a charge. Anyone at Clifton Lane after the recent televised game will have seen the damage cause by the tracking and heavy equipment to a major part of the cricket outfield.”

“At Abbeydale, the rugby ground is shared with Sheffield Collegiate CC. If Titans move, I wonder how long before problems arise with the cricket club there.”

*Titans have signed prop Robin Hislop for next season after a successful loan spell.