DINNINGTON Rugby Club’s prayers have been answered with a shock reprieve from relegation.
The Lodge Lane outfit finished second bottom in Yorkshire’s Division One this season, and were all set for the drop – until a surprise development this week.
A side who were due to enter the league from the Northern League have folded, and now only one club will be relegated from Yorkshire One.
A relieved Dinnington captain Matt Starr told the Guardian the news was a boost for everyone at the club.
“We’ve been saved,” he said.
“Our players have been answered. Yorkshire Two would maybe have been a good building block for us, but our aim was always to return to Yorkshire One.”
“We have a foot on the ladder again.”
And now that they’re able to prepare for another season in Division One, Dinnington are busy putting in foundations for a better campaign and looking to bolster the first team squad.
Starr said: “We’re putting a few plans in place, the coaches and managers are planning for next year and if they stick to 50 per cent of what they’re saying then we’ll do much better.”
“In the forwards we’re alright, but we need backs and we’re looking now, so we’ll see what happens there.”
Dinnington are back in training in the first week of July, with an inter-club match in the second week of August in order to pick a first team squad. Friendly games will follow in the month of August, but fitness work has already begun.
The first team skipper said: “A lot of the lads are still fitness training, it was quite a reality shock dropping from Yorkshire One, so they want to hit the ground running this time.”
And the seniors may be joined by some of the talent coming through the junior development system at Lodge Lane.
He added: “A few of the Colts side, five or six of them, have been training with us.”
“They don’t need to be thrown in at the deep end, they need to play bit of senior rugby first, play with the big boys and then come through to the firsts.”
“If they’re ready obviously they’ll play, but there’s a big difference between youth rugby and thirds, seconds and firsts.”