Appeal fails

HADLEIGH have lost their appeal not to class their league clash earlier this month with Bury St Edmunds as a double-header.Suffolk RU met on Monday night for its monthly committee meeting, and the questionable double-header between the two clubs at Layham Road earlier this month topped the agenda.

HADLEIGH have lost their appeal not to class their league clash earlier this month with Bury St Edmunds as a double-header.

Suffolk RU met on Monday night for its monthly committee meeting, and the questionable double-header between the two clubs at Layham Road earlier this month topped the agenda.

Hadleigh were against the decision that the league clash between the two sides also be counted as the Suffolk Cup semi-final, originally due to be held this weekend.

Bury were unable to make the original date, as it clashed with the fifth regional round of the EDF Senior Vase, in which they have been successful so far this season.


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They also turned down three other dates put forward by Hadleigh.

The rules of the competition require both clubs to agree to alternative dates no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled fixture, but Hadleigh were informed of the double-header just four days prior to the game.

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Hadleigh and Bury eventually drew 15-15, and, as Bury were the away team, they went through to the cup final, to be held on Sunday, February 11.

Andrew Sarek, of Suffolk RU said: “Hadleigh's objection was based on the supposition that the decision to play the game as a double-header was not in accordance with the rules of the competition.

“After a discussion at the committee meeting it was found that the decision made was within the rules of the competition and that it was unreasonable to expect Bury St Edmunds to play two games in two days. Playing the game on January 6 as a double-header was the most sensible option in the circumstances and the result of the game will stand.”

Hadleigh chairman John Halls said: “Obviously we are disappointed with the committee's decision, but we will abide by it, and continue to focus our efforts on rebuilding our club.”

Phillip Torkington, chairman of Bury, said: “As far as I understand the fixture secretaries from both clubs had to agree to play the game as a double-header, and we went into the game on the basis that we were happy to do so.

“We are quite happy with the decision.”

Hadleigh used to dominate the Suffolk Cup, having won it for four of the last six years. They last won the cup at the end of the 2004/05 season.

The rivalry between these two clubs began when 11 of Hadleigh's first-team members left at the end of last season. Not long after, Hadleigh received 11 transfer requests from Bury.

The plot thickened when one of Hadleigh's main sponsors, The Church, a club in the heart of London, withdrew its support from the Layham Road side, only to appear as a sponsor several months later on Bury's website.

Despite all of this, Halls said: “At the pre-match meal earlier this month, it was good to see that the relationship between the two clubs was still as strong as ever.”

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