Trophy final called off

First published in Sport

THE Journal Cup final was cancelled last week after Leominster failed to raise a side for the game against Westfields Reserves.

The final was due to be played last Wednesday at Wellington but Leominster informed the league that morning they would not be able to fulfil the fixture.

A spokesperson for Leominster said: “At the end of a long season, throughout which player availability was an ongoing issue, we were, despite the best of intentions, unable to raise a side to contest the Journal Trophy as a midweek fixture.

“We believe our situation reflects a reality a number of other clubs will have to face in future.

“We were also to some extent victims of our own success in that not only were we challenging for top spot in the league but had won through to three senior cup finals.

“This has taken its toll on players who have work and college commitments and the amount of fixtures in such a short time has also resulted in numerous injuries to our young players.”

Leominster had got to the final by beating Wellington, Weobley and Hinton while Westfields beat Fownhope, Pegasus Reserves and Ross juniors to qualify.

Herefordshire league secretary Pete Stead said there are no rules which are directly related to cup finals but the league rules say any failure to complete a fixture could result in them being removed from the competition.

He also said the management committee would decide whether or not Westfields will be awarded the trophy as a result.

Jim Lambert, chief executive of the HFA, said he feels “very, very sorry” for Leominster and said that he has long been an advocate of having fewer cup competitions through the season.

He said: “When the sun is shining no one sees the problem.

“It’s very unusual for a final to be cancelled - I can’t remember a cup final being cancelled before.”

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