RUGBY ROUND-UP: Warlingham, sitting in apparent safety in eighth place in 12-club London 3 South-West, have been given a relegation reprieve ahead of their visit to bottom-of-the-table Basingstoke today, with an undertaking from a self-declared “Twickenham blazer” that only the bottom three clubs will be relegated.
As the local amateur oval ball game kicks off again after Easter for the final handful of fixtures, the area’s top-ranked club does so safe in the knowledge that they have done enough on the field to avoid slipping down to county level for the first time since 2006.
Some senior officials had expressed serious concerns that if two clubs from Surrey manage to gain promotion this month – with Old Whitgiftians already assured of winning the Surrey 1 league title – then Warlingham might have been at risk of making way for them, despite having enjoyed a moderately successful second-half of the season which had lifted them away from the bottom of the league table.
But Tony Price, of the Surrey RFU who describes himself as “one of those blazers from Twickenham running competitions”, has offered a personal assurance over relegation.
“The bottom three sides in London 3SW will be relegated, regardless of CB affiliation,” Price says. “This has always been the case and I have no reason to suppose that it will not always be so.”
Asked if he could demonstrate how relegation works under the rules of the London competitions, Price, from the Old Cranleighians club, provided a link to RFU rules, and referenced a paragraph on… promotion.
He said that while he “usually” circulates clubs before the beginning of the season with playing conditions and competition rules, he saw “no need to promulgate them further” this season because, “The regulations regarding promotion and relegation have not changed, in details on this point not for at least the 10 years I have been involved and as far as I am aware in principle since they were set up some 30 years ago.”
So Warlingham could have a couple of juicy derbies next season against Whitgiftians, and possibly also Old Mid-Whitgiftians, who are at home at Sanderstead against the Law Society today and next week face a crunch clash at Old Georgians, where second in Surrey 1 plays third.
Mids go into their last league fixtures buoyed with a cup run, having made the final of the Surrey Shield with a 31-22 win over Whitgiftians just before Easter.
At Frant Road tomorrow, Streatham-Croydon’s high-flying women’s team face Crewe and Nantwich in the semi-final of the Intermediate Plate competition – a staggering achievement for a club which has had a women’s XV side for just three years. Entry is free, with kick-off at 2.45pm.
Contact your local rugby clubs here:
- Old Mid-Whitgiftians
- Old Walcountians
- Old Whitgiftians
- Purley John Fisher
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