Haverhill Rugby Club have been docked five points in this season’s Eastern Counties One Salver, after they chose to forfeit a league game in favour of a memorial match.
The league game in question, an away fixture to Mistley, had been rescheduled for March 17 following the original March 3 date falling foul of heavy snow.
But the club already had a friendly against Mildenhall set up for this slip week — to coincide with the final weekend of the Six Nations tournament.
The friendly gained deep significance for the club when it was decided that it would be played in honour of long-time member Chris Brown, who had died at the start of the month.
Haverhill RFC got in touch with the league to request that the Mistley game be moved, but were told league fixtures had to take precedent.
Nevertheless, Haverhill went ahead with the friendly and did not travel, with the league awarding a home walkover victory to opponents Mistley.
Calvin Joce, London and SE competitions divisional organising committee league administrator for the Eastern Counties One West, confirmed: “Haverhill will be deducted five competition points from their total for this season, due to missing the rescheduled game.
“The full circumstances were considered against the competition regulations and requirements to complete the league programme.
“Eastern Counties determined that the league match had to take precedence on March 17.”
The club were already lying off the pace at the foot of the Eastern Counties One Salver having failed to win a game so far this season, nor score a league table point.
Their latest result was a 36-8 away loss to Swaffham, one of the closest results they have recorded this season. Just two weeks earlier, they had lost 76-0 to them at home.
The team have another slip week this weekend.