PETERSFIELD Rugby Club’s London South West Three league local derby against Alton was postponed - because of the Covid pandemic.
The postponement - requested by Alton - comes after the announcement that because of the rise in infections, clubs at level 3 or below could postpone matches until the new year without facing sanctions.
The postponement leaves Petersfield top of the league by just one point going into 2022.
The playing record of their closest rivals, Weybridge Vandals, mirrors Petersfield - both have won nine, drawn one and lost one - leaving them separated by just the one bonus point.
Petersfield were promoted to London South West Three for the start of the 2021-22 season, and their opening match at Vandals’ Walton on Thames ground finished in a 19-19 draw.
Petersfield’s subsequent six wins ended at Warlingham with a 25-12 defeat, but three victories brought the first half of the season to a close on December 11.
The second XV have also enjoyed success, winning eight matches and losing three, leaving them fourth in Hampshire League Two.
The senior squad and coaching team, led by head coach Vicky Alexander, have produced some attractive, expansive and committed rugby.
The competition for places in both teams is intense with more than 40 players training on Tuesday or Thursday evenings. And the club would like to field a third XV, despite the difficulties of confirming fixtures and player availability.
While all competitive rugby was curtailed by the pandemic, the club invested heavily in its facilities, ably led by chairman Stuart Barden and administered by secretary Rob Mocatta.
New floodlighting on a third pitch has significantly reduced the impact of over-use on all the pitches.
Other pitch improvements were funded by the club or their landlords, Petersfield Town Council.
There were also major improvements to the club’s facilities, including updating of the changing rooms, external artificial grass areas for outdoor fitness training, refitting the bar area, and other work.
The mini, juniors and junior girls meet on Sundays and attract more than 400 boys and girls to the carefully-structured introduction and progression of the sport.
League and youth rugby resumes on Saturday, January 8, subject to Covid restrictions.
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