Postponed derby re-arranged to Christmas period

HERO: Tommy Hardwick, alongside welfare officer Lisa Shulver, gave the gentleman life-saving CPR
HERO: Tommy Hardwick, alongside welfare officer Lisa Shulver, gave the gentleman life-saving CPR

The first leg of the Haverhill derby, between New Croft sides’ Borough and Rovers, has been rescheduled to Friday, December 29.

The first league match between the two local teams, who play in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, was scheduled to take place on Borough’s 3G pitch on Friday, September 29, but was called off on the night due to a medical emergency.

Both teams were keen on the new date also being scheduled as a Friday evening game, to maximise support, and agreed to the Christmas date.

Rovers manager Ben Cowling said: “The new date should work well for both teams, and there should be a good crowd along as well.

“Or we hope so anyway. Christmas is over, but it’s still the holiday period, kids are off school, it’s a great way for people to spend their Friday evening.”

The rescheduled game follows both manager’s backing of the decision to postpone the Haverhill derby, after the unprecedented events that unfolded on the sidelines.

Both have said that playing that evening, given the circumstances, would not have been appropriate while hailing the ‘heroic efforts’ of the two club members who performed CPR.

The return leg, to be played on Rovers grass pitch, will be on November 3, and the league has since confirmed the match will be rescheduled for Friday, December 29 (7.45pm).

“I am just really proud that a Borough player (Tommy Hardwick) saved someone’s life, coming off the bench to do something heroic,” Borough manager Anthony Choat said.

“He went above and beyond and, you know what, there are more important things than a game of football.

“I am glad it was postponed, there would have been a strange atmosphere because everyone’s mind would have been elsewhere, We wish him well.”

Cowling said: “It took a while for the referee to make the call but I don’t think anyone minds, there were more important things happening than calling off a game.

“But from the moment it happened it would have been strange to play. None of my players were directly affected but there was a lot of concern for the man.

“I don’t think anyone felt particularly keen to play.”