Minutes of appeal meeting held at Tyldesley RUFC on 9th January 2012
Members attending: Andy Thompson (Chair), Ian Cousins, Jon Daldry, Peter Rhodes
Representing Lymm RUFC Steve Rule (Director of Rugby) John Millachip
(Fixture Secretary), John Millington (2nd Team Captain).
Meeting opened 19.15 hrs.
This meeting was held to consider an appeal by Lymm RUFC against a deduction of points
imposed by the Rules Committee for failing to fulfil a 2nd team fixture against Sedgley Park
on 5th November 2011.
Andy Thompson opened the meeting by welcoming all present and introducing Committee
Members to representatives of Lymm RUFC. He then invited the Lymm Members to state
John Millachip began by saying that Lymm believed that facts had not been reported correctly to the Rules Committee and also that the rules had not been correctly applied.
Lymm had selected a team earlier in the week but as the week progressed a number of players had either been called to the 1st team of had become unavailable. This left only 11 players in the team at the end of the week. Lymm felt unable to apply the normal practice of bringing players up from the lower teams for the following reasons.
1. The fixture was against a very strong Sedgley Park team
2. There is a large gap in standard between the UoS Premiership where Lymm 2 play, and UoS League 3 South where Lymm 3 play. Players from Lymm 3 were not considered to have sufficient levels of fitness or skills to face the intended opposition.
3. Due to the above the issues of Health and Safety were considered important.
John continued by saying that by the Friday evening it became obvious that a maximum of 11 players could travel to this fixture so the 2nd team coach is alleged to have attempted to contact the Sedgely Park 2nd team coach to warn him of the likely situation and to try and make arrangements to ‘borrow’ some players. However, no contact was in fact made.
The Lymm contingent gave a long explanation of events on the Saturday and of conversations with Sedgley Park officials and two telephone calls between the referee and Steve Rule who was with Lymm 1st team at Penrith. He insisted that Lymm were there to play the game with the minimum of 5 players travelling as required by rule 13. In fact shortly afterwards another 3 players arrived making 8 Lymm players present. It was agreed to play a game of 8 versus 9 as Sedgley Park were unwilling to loan players to be battered by their own clubmates. This in itself is contrary to Rule 14. The referee then asked about the availability of front row players and discovered that Lymm had only 1 prop, the rest of the 8 were all backs. The referee then declared the whole situation a “farce” and a situation that should not be allowed to happen at this level. There then seems to be a general unwillingness for the game to take place.
Having heard the evidence from the Lymm representatives and also having consulted the referee’s report and a written statement from Sedgley Park the panel were unable to apportion blame for the failure of the game taking place beyond reasonable doubt. Lymm turned up with the minimum number of players according to the rules at the time and also showed that they had not DELIBERATELY mislead the committee contrary to Rule 22.
On taking legal advice the panel were left with no option but to allow the appeal.
On informing the Lymm representatives of the success of their appeal the panel strongly recommended that the Lymm club should reform their selection policy and give more attention to the training of players to enable them to play in higher teams when required.
Meeting closed 20.45hrs.