SELBY Warriors ARLC have hit back at York Acorn boss Scott Rhodes in the row over the timing of the York & District Community Cup final.
Rhodes had complained that Acorn had to play last Friday night’s final against Selby less than 24 hours before the club’s scheduled National Conference League clash with high-flying Oulton Raiders and only two days after an under-18s cup derby against New Earswick All Blacks.
The Blue and Golds were always going to field an ‘A’ team in the final but Rhodes had argued that some under-18s would have made the step up to open age and that some reserve players would have been needed for the first team league match, but having three big games in the space of four days was tough to manage.
As it turned out, the first team match at Oulton was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, and the final was reasonably straightforward, Acorn's second string beating relegated Pennine League division one side Selby 28-6 despite having Daryl North sent off after only six minutes.
But the Warriors have nevertheless hit back at Rhodes’ “rant”, saying if the Thanet Road club didn’t have enough players for the three teams then they should “ditch one”. They also said the York & District ARL were right to stick to their guns.
“After reading Mr Rhodes’ complaints about the timing of the York cup - sorry but they don't have an argument,” said Warriors chairman Dave Sowden.
“The complaint is that their U18s, second team and first team all had separate games in the same week. Well, they are supposed to be three separate teams so what’s the problem?
“The fact they swap players from team to team is their problem, not the fault of the York & District ARL.
“It may sound harsh but if they don't have enough players for three teams then ditch one.
“Selby Warriors’ first and second teams both had a semi-final on the same day earlier in the year and our U16s, whose players we sometimes use, had a game on the Sunday. I can well imagine the Pennine League’s reaction had we complained.
“Rhodes also stated that it didn't matter to us when it was played as our season had ended. Sorry, but our season ended weeks ago so how long into our pre-season did they want the game played? Some of our players hadn't played for weeks and that was one of the reasons we gave a lacklustre performance (in the final).
“We had known for weeks the final would be Friday, May 23, and some of our players had booked shifts off work. Then out of the blue last Tuesday we were informed there was a doubt the game would be played because the date didn't suit York Acorn.
“Had the game been called off and the tail wagged the dog, we as a club wouldn't have entered any more of the districts cups, but fair play to the York & District ARL as they stuck to their guns.
“If it ever gets to the point certain clubs start dictating the way things are run for their own ends then we’re all wasting our time.”
Neither Acorn nor Heworth have a game in the National Conference League this weekend as they are not involved in the league's Challenge Trophy first round ties.
But Acorn 'A' host high-flying Holderness Vikings in the Yorkshire Men's League premier division, and Heworth 'A' go to winless Scarborough Pirates 'A' in YML group two.
Neighbours York Lokomotive visit Bradford Dudley Hill 'A' in the same tier looking to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.
Selby Warriors' summer team, meanwhile, host unbeaten Hull Wyke in the YML entry division 3A.