Harpenden game cancelled at half time due to snow

THE snow was the only winner in Harpenden’s match-up with Chiswick as the referee brought proceedings to an end at half time with the score level at 0-0.

The game has been re-arranged for the end of April.

Harpenden are being dragged into a battle to survive with the bottom five teams separated by 12 points.

And they have three games left against table-toppers Tabard, Hemel Hempstead and the re-arrranged fixture against Chiswick to cement their position in the league next year.

But they can take heart from moments of promise on Saturday before the game was cancelled.

A gallant band of volunteers had been up since the early morning preparing the snowbound pitch and, against all the odds, managed to present a surface that was fit – only just – on which to play rugby.

The Harpenden management were in a confident mood with, on paper, their strongest team of the season.

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However, Harpenden found to their cost that in situations like this are a hostage to fortune. The heavens opened just before the kick-off and, from thereon in, the snow that had been forecast duly arrived.

Both sides had an opportunity to shine if only they had hung on to their chances. However, the snow made life difficult and the fierce wind, that at times caused havoc to the kickers, were factors in causing the numerous stoppages that occurred.

The referee did his best to keeps things flowing but kicks that should have gone forward tended to float sideways or even, at times, backwards.

On a number of occasions the Harpenden backs did attempt to run with the ball and it wasn’t too long before they began to believe they had the ability to win the match.

Unfortunately for Tom Muskett, Harpenden’s leading try-scorer, he wasn’t credited early on with a try at the end of a promising movement when he was adjudged to have put his foot outside the field of play, inches from the line. Such moments were few and far between, however.

The good news, if there was any, was that Harpenden’s defence stood firm whenever their line was threatened.

As the snow continued to fall, it became obvious that the Chiswick players were not enjoying life. The referee took pity on both teams during the break and, probably, quite wisely decided to cancel any further play.

The main attraction before kick-off was a commemorative lunch to celebrate the memory of David Rapley and the renaming of a bar in his honour.