Frustration as Dons game off

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DONCASTER Rugby League Club were left ‘disappointed’ when their opening game of the 2012 season was called off.

Gateshead officials had been hopeful of the Northern Rail Cup pool game going ahead on Friday after a Football League referee passed the pitch at the town’s International Stadium fit for the Gateshead-Bath City Blue Square Bet Premier League game the following day.

Although the pitch was very wet it was reported to be soft following several frost-free nights, and the referee’s main concern was several pools of water near one of the corner flags which he said had to be removed for the game to go ahead.

Ground staff set about tackling the problem and the hope on Friday evening was that both weekend games would go ahead.

But a colder than expected night left the pitch hard in parts and the match referee called the game off at 2pm with the two teams changed in the dressing rooms.

Yesterday’s rugby league game was called off around the same time even though temperatures were not predicted to drop below several degrees overnight.

“I’m sure they know what they are doing, but I think the decision was maybe a bit premature because the daytime temperature between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon averaged about five degrees,” said Dons’ boss Tony Miller.

“But from what I’ve heard maybe the club were under pressure from the council for it to be called off possibly over fears it could damage the pitch.

“We were really looking forward to the game but you can’t control the weather.”

Miller, who would like to see the game rearranged sometime this week if possible, decided against bringing the players in yesterday for extra training and they will not be in until tomorrow night.