League is hit by new big freeze
The wicked winter has maintained its grip on the Evening News Norwich Sunday League 2009/10 season right until the end. The league's committee has reluctantly agreed that any divisions whose fixtures are not completed by May 9 will be decided on points average.
The wicked winter has maintained its grip on the Evening News Norwich Sunday League 2009/10 season right until the end.
The league's committee has reluctantly agreed that any divisions whose fixtures are not completed by May 9 will be decided on points average.
Officially there will also be a relegation and promotion freeze as part of the measures taken after defeat was conceded in the epic battle to clear the mammoth backlog of postponed matches.
But in reality top two finishers will almost certainly go up anyway because of vacancies caused by teams dropping out of the league.
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It will be only the second time in the league's 51-year history that any honours have been decided on points average.
The drastic measure was last taken after 1976/77 season was wrecked by the long, hot summer which made pitches unplayable until well into the autumn.
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League secretary Ben Casey said the decision was taken “very reluctantly” after the campaign took a series of body blows, with some pitches ruled out of action by snow and ice, drought and New Year and Christmas holidays for up to 12 weeks in total.
“It's been a nightmare,” said Ben. “It was my first season as secretary and I got the worst winter for over 30 years, just my luck, but I won't be throwing in the towel.
“It's been a bit of a headache. I've had more to deal with in the last two weeks than I have had in the previous two months.”
He added: “Most clubs understand the situation because they know what the weather was like. I haven't heard of anyone up in arms over it.
“Our fixture secretary Bernie Hardman has been pulling his hair out. He has been doing everything in his power to help clubs but in the end the backlog was too great. I think he will be glad when the season has finished.
“Most of the teams who finish in the top two should feel confident of going up because of teams dropping out.
“We will know how next season is going to look after we have drawn up the constitution after our meeting for new applicants on May 10. So far we have had 12 applicants for nine vacancies next season.”
Veteran fixture secretary Bernie Hardiman said up to three divisions would be decided on points average - the Premier Division and 1b and possibly 3b.
“I have just run out of pitches, run out of weeks and run out of games.
“At one point I had nearly 400 unplayed fixtures on the books.
“After all the years I have been doing the job - it will be 40 next season - this was the worst, it has been horrendous.”
Winners and runners-up will be presented with their trophies at the league's annual dinner at the Holiday Inn, near Norwich airport on May 21.