RUGBY UNION: Dreams of a Twickenham day out have been dashed for West Norfolk.
The North Wootton-based side had battled through to the last four of the RFU Senior Vase and stood just one win away from treading the famous turf at the home of English rugby union.
However, they were left bereft when the RFU decided to call a halt to the season due to he coronavirus pandemic.
Match reporter and player Paul Bridges said: “It is gutting but I guess there is nothing we can do about it except reflect on how successful and positive this season has been.”
West had been due to play Chosen Hill Former Pupils in the national semi-final on April 11 but that was postponed and the RFU have confirmed the competition will not continue.
The London & South East League Three Eastern Counties leaders now await news as to what will happen in regard to promotion/relegation, which is due to be announced next month.
“As players we are disappointed but completely understand the steps are necessary to maintain national safety,” said Bridges.
“We had hoped we might have been able to complete the league and cup competition in the summer.
“Many of the players were down but we have encouraged each other to remember the huge success we have had in remaining unbeaten in the league for 16 games and winning the RFU London & South East Senior Vase.
“We have to thank all the coaching staff for everything they have done to give us this opportunity, the supporters who make playing worthwhile each week and all the volunteers that make it possible for us to play week in week out.”
Head coach Darren Clarke was equally philosophical, saying: “What a difference a week makes. From the euphoria of the regional final victory to the disappointment of the season being ended early by the RFU.
“We may feel disheartened about what might have been but no one can take away what we have achieved this year.
“A journey that started last summer and finished with an incredible day against Reeds Weybridge means we must base our reflection of the season on memories that will last a long time.
“It has been a fantastic team effort but we would not have had the success without the unbelievable input from the coaches and manager Damien Fish.
“Rugby will come again but in the meantime I hope that everyone stays safe and healthy and we all look after each other.”