Halifax blast Council over cup clash

Calderdale Council has ruined plans for a Challenge Cup double header featuring Siddal, Widnes, Halifax and Castleford Lock Lane.

Following the third round draw, Halifax and local amateur club Siddal had agreed to a double header third round day on Sunday 6th March, giving fans of all four clubs chance to watch their teams for the price of a single game.

However, the council has now decided that Siddal must play Widnes at 11.30am, before closing the stadium and re-opening it ahead of Halifax against Castleford Lock Lane at 5pm.

A Halifax club statement said: “All four clubs were excited to be able to be part of this occasion, but after discussions with Calderdale Council, we have been told this approach is unacceptable to the Council ‘for health and safety reasons’.

“We believe that the relatively small issues raised were more than easily resolvable.”

Halifax were thrown out of the Challenge Cup last season for fielding an ineligible player, prop Michael Ostick, and are currently working towards the Super League licence decision date of March 31st.

Halifax director Tony Abbott commented: “Siddal is my family Club as my son plays there, and of course I’m committed to Halifax RLFC too as a Director.

“It’s regrettable that Calderdale Council has taken this decision which is out of the Club’s control. We believe that fans who live in Calderdale and support either amateur rugby or Halifax RLFC are being unfairly penalised by a decision that seems to owe more to ‘jobsworth’ than reality.

“Quite frankly I feel that this decision is a massive loss to the drive we are putting around the Club for Super League, and if this is the type of support we and Siddal are getting from our local Council, then it’s difficult to see how we can work with such people who seem to have neither the time, ambition or support for what we are trying to achieve for Rugby League in the Calderdale area.”

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