The Shetland rugby team is due to take on league leaders Deeside at home on Saturday in a match which could go a long way to deciding the destination of the RBS Caledonia Division Three (North) title.
Unfortunately the weekend’s fixture at Clickimin against Kinloss Eagles was called off for the second time, the latest in a series of cancellations by the Moray-based army side.
Apart from the outstanding Kinloss match the Shetland team’s other remaining fixture is against Grampian Police, scheduled for the following weekend in Aberdeen.
Shetland coach Bryan Leask said there was no rescheduled date for Kinloss game so they are unsure when the fixture would be played.
He said: “The SRU have indicated that all games must be finished by the 11th May. This isn’t just a problem facing Kinloss as there are a number of teams that have only played six games so far and this current spell of snow on the mainland isn’t helping get the fixtures fulfilled.”
On the plus side Deeside lost at the weekend which means that Shetland are now five points behind in second place with two games in hand. A victory tomorrow and everything would hinge on the remaining five games Kinloss have left to play.
Postponed matches were a disappointment, Leask said, as the Deeside fixture had also been called off on three occasions, twice by Deeside and once by the weather.
He said: “The one game Shetland have lost so far was against Gordonians 2XV. We travelled with only nine players from Shetland and picked up four students and two additional players who had never played for Shetland before.
“Shetland take great pride in never failing to fulfil an away fixture (except for weather reasons), even if this means travelling with a weakened team or less than a full team. We played Ellon two years ago with only 12 players.
“It is a shame that this decision looks like it could cost us the chance of promotion on what has otherwise been a very successful season. Perhaps if the championship committee are failing to take action against teams who fail to fulfil fixtures we will need to be a bit more streetwise in terms of calling off games when we have a weakened side.
“Showing commitment to the league and fulfilling our fixtures at all costs doesn’t appear to have done us any favours while I believe it is in the spirit of the league.”