Rams count cost of away days

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DEWSBURY Rams chairman Mark Sawyer is counting the cost of a horrendous run of away games, which will see his club play at home just twice in eight weeks.

Last night’s televised Co-operative Championship clash against leaders Halifax was Dewsbury’s first home game since May 27 and they do not have another game at Tetley’s Stadium until Swinton Lions visit on July 22.

The Rams face a crucial trip to York City Knights next Friday (8pm) and after having a week off for the Northern Rail Cup semi-finals, they travel to high-flying Leigh on Friday July 13 before finally returning home.

Mr Sawyer said: “These are extremely difficult times as we have no chance of bringing any income in but we are not the only club in this position.

“We knew this would happen with there only being 10 teams in the division but it has made it harder as our only game this month has been on television.

“We would have expected the Halifax game to have provided our biggest gate of the season, as it did when they came for the Northern Rail Cup, but we were expecting the TV would have knocked around 500 off the gate.

“The bottom line is that we only have 18 league fixtures this time and they are being stretched out.

“The only other option open to clubs at the start of the season was to play each other three times and that would have been a farce.”

Dewsbury will host a meeting of all Championship and Championship One clubs next Thursday when discussions will take place regarding the structure of the league next season.

The Rugby Football League have already confirmed that four new clubs will enter Championship One, including Northampton Rebels, Hemel Stags and Gloucester All Gold, while there will be no relegation from Dewsbury’s level but the exact format has still to be finalised.

Going into last night’s game against Halifax the Rams had lost their last four matches, all be it against four of the top five sides in the Championship.

Mr Sawyer admits that Dewsbury’s goal for the season remains reaching the end of season play-offs and next Friday’s clash at York will be vital if they are to achieve that.

The chairman added: “It would have been a real bonus if we beat Halifax (last night) but we are expecting to beat York next week and if we lose that game there is a real danger of us not reaching the play-offs.”

A supporters coach to York will leave Dewsbury bus station at 6pm and Tetley’s Stadium at 6.15pm. To book a seat call Elsie Fryer on 01924 444407.