Heath pitch fit, Rishies at Kensington

Heath RUFC Club West Vale is flooided
Heath RUFC Club West Vale is flooided

Heath RUFC officials have given the green light for Saturday’s Yorkshire One game against top of the table Bradford and Bingley to go ahead.

The North Dean pitch was under several feet of floodwater on Boxing Day. Debris was left when the water drained away and the changing rooms were hit.

However, Heath officials met yesterday afternoon and decided that remaining work could be completed before the weekend.

Club spokesman John Hetherington said that the tremendous support and hard work given by volunteers meant the first game of 2016 could go ahead.

The news is less bright from Old Rishworthians, whose base at Copley is also at the side of the River Calder.

Their ground is likely to be out of action for some time but they will play Saturday’s home game against Castleford in Yorkshire Two at Kensington, near Old Crossleyans’ Broomfield base.

Their own pitch was flooded to a depth of more than 10 feet and the cellar of the newly extended clubhouse was flooded too, putting the bar out of action.

The pitch is the greatest concern, however. Little can be done until the ground dries out and the river sand and debris can be removed.

Contamination of the ground may be a problem and the Environment Agency has already taken soil samples.

“We are certainly not going to be able to use the ground for the foreseeable future,” said Rishworthians Rugby Chairman Peter Morgan.

Rishworthians’ clubhouse sits on top of banking built by the water authority in the 1960s to protect the adjoining Copley village.

At the deepest point it is 10 to 12 feet down to the level of the pitch and the water stopped a few inches below the top.