Rugby Union: Aspinall fears disjointed end to the season for Harrogate

Mike Aspinall.
Mike Aspinall.
Have your say

Harrogate director of rugby Mike Aspinall fears that the number of postponed fixtures will lead to a disjointed end of season.

Harrogate’s match at National Two North league leaders Macclesfield was called off last weekend, a fourth match to fall victim to the weather this season.

Gate’s campaign has already been extended by two weeks with the league rearranging the home clash against Sedgley Park for May 7 and the visit to Macclesfield for May 14.

Both opponents could have already secured promotion when the rescheduled games come around, which Aspinall believes could threaten the fixtures altogether.

With their involvement as defending champions of the Yorkshire Cup ongoing, Gate face the prospect of playing four matches in May or squeezing games into midweek.

Harrogate’s much-anticipated clash against Otley on April 30 has now been changed into a league and cup double, with the winners progressing to the quarter-final of the competition Gate won last season.

“Something has to give at some stage,” Aspinall said.

“Macclesfield are likely to be promoted regardless of that fixture and I would be surprised if Sedgley Park haven’t already secured their play-off spot.

“It will be interesting to see what happens closer to the time.

“If I was the Macclesfield coach and I was promoted by April 30, would I want my boys to go over to a motivated Harrogate side on May 14? No, I would want them resting up before a tough pre-season preparing for National One.”

Harrogate have nine fixtures to fulfil, with their first coming up against late bloomers Luctonians at Rudding Lane tomorrow.

Lucts have transformed a woeful start to the season with eight wins from their last 11 games and pose a significant danger to top-five hunting Harrogate.

“They have a habit of doing this,” said Aspinall.

“They don’t start the season very well but they really come back strong and climb out of potential trouble.”