Waterhead and Rangers clinging to lifelines
Date published: 15 October 2013
RUGBY: ALL options remain on the table for relegation candidates Waterhead and Saddleworth Rangers
Both teams are still in with a shot of avoiding the drop from National Conference League Division One, even though both lost at the weekend.
Waterhead were beaten 38-14 at home by Hunslet Warriors and Saddleworth went down 40-16 at previously rock-bottom Stanley to drop to the foot of the division themselves.
But even at this late stage it is unclear how many sides will face the drop. NCL bosses want to add extra teams to the league structure to make it four divisions of 14 clubs - but if that can’t be achieved the number of relegated clubs may be reduced from three to two. A decision will be taken later in the year.
The waters have been made muddier still by Bradford Dudley Hill’s inability to raise a team to fulfil Saturday’s fixture at Rochdale Mayfield.
An investigation into the no-show is underway and punishment would be automatic demotion and a fine of up to £500, according to the league’s constitution - in theory, the side could take one of the relegation places.
If three clubs are to go down then SADDLEWORTH need to win their final game at home to Milford, and Stanley lose at Dewsbury Celtic, so Rangers can move above Waterhead on points difference and avoid relegation.
WATERHEAD - who have no games left - must hope Stanley and Saddleworth lose, to maintain their status.
If two clubs are to go down, SADDLEWORTH must beat Milford for Rangers to continue in Division One.
WATERHEAD will survive if either Stanley lose, or Saddleworth fail to win.
Much depends on the Dudley Hill verdict, bu the authorities have refused to comment until the investigation is concluded.
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