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Stricken Hadleigh hand tie to rivals

PUBLISHED: 14:44 02 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

RUGBY UNION: With Hadleigh calling off their scheduled Intermediate Cup tie against Ipswich on Saturday because of an injury crisis, it means Ipswich have now progressed to the third round of the competition without playing a single game.

WITH Hadleigh calling off their scheduled Intermediate Cup tie against Ipswich on Saturday because of an injury crisis, it means Ipswich have now progressed to the third round of the competition without playing a single game.

Last month Southend called off their scheduled first round tie at Ipswich – only a week after beating the Suffolk club in the London League Division Two North. Southend conceded the tie saying they could not field a front row.

Now with Hadleigh withdrawing from tomorrow's scheduled second round tie, Ipswich first team face another idle weekend.

"It is all very frustrating, disappointing and a little surprising," commented Ipswich coach Guy Atherton. "On one hand we are pleased to be through to the third round, but the problem is that we are not getting the match practise we desperately need. We will come up against a club that have fought their way through to the third round next month and not playing is hardly the ideal preparation if we want to make progress."

In any event Ipswich would have been without five of their first team who lost 13-17 at home to Woodford in the League last Saturday because of unavailability.

"We would have been under strength against Hadleigh, but even so, I would have been confident that we could have won the Cup tie," added Atherton.

Even more worrying for Ipswich is that tomorrow's Cup postponement comes just a week before they take on top-of-the-table Hertford away. "Having lost to Woodford in what I felt was our worst performance of the season, in which not one single player performed to his potential, we wanted more than anything to play this weekend to get that bad game out of our system and try and put things right before what will be undoubtedly our toughest match of the whole campaign so far."

Instead some of the Ipswich squad may well be included in the Magpies team who take on Cambridge II at home tomorrow to give them vital practise.

Ipswich Barbarians are also at home in a friendly match against Diss III.


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