The UYRUFC first XV’s hopes of competing in Premier B appear to be over this afternoon after British Universities and College Sport (BUCS) denied them promotion over an administrative technicality.
York have not been able to gain any points from their walkover against Northumbria University seconds on Saturday because York Sport staff submitted the reason for Northumbria’s withdrawal 63 minutes after a BUCS-imposed deadline of 10am on Monday morning.
This means that York finished level on points with Sheffield Hallam, whose scheduled match against Sheffield University on Sunday was also cancelled, but Hallam will be promoted by virtue of a superior head-to-head record.
Had York gained the three points from Saturday’s walkover, they would be playing their rugby in Premier B, a national division containing the likes of Loughborough and Birmingham Universities, next season.
York Sport officials argued that the reason for the late submission of the information resulted from being unable to contact Northumbria University Athletic Union officials over the weekend but BUCS, who can only communicate with University Athletic Unions and not individual clubs, decided in favour of Hallam.
“We’re absolutely devastated and disheartened by what BUCS have decided,” Rob Grant, UYRUFC President, told Nouse. “We deserve promotion because we have more points than Hallam. To be denied on a technicality is heartbreaking.”
Grant and UYRUFC are investigating ways to appeal against the decision but, with the opening rounds of the BUCS Trophy taking place next week and league play-off matches scheduled for tomorrow, there is unlikely to be time to organise a deciding match with Hallam or a relegation zone Premier B side. York are due to host Birmingham University firsts in the BUCS Trophy next Wednesday (3rd March).
Last year, the team were forced by BUCS to travel to The University of Central Lancashire for a League 2B play-off fixture despite winning the league outright.
Also this week, as a result of tight BUCS scheduling, the men’s hockey firsts’ cup quarter-final against Northumbria was decided by a coin toss, with York winning.
More to follow…