Storm Dennis brings sporting postponements across Sussex

Expect scenes like this over the weekend / Picture: Chris Hatton
Expect scenes like this over the weekend / Picture: Chris Hatton

Storm Dennis plus the sheer amount of rain that's fallen recently added up to a whole lot of sporting postponements across Sussex this weekend.

A number of football and rugby clubs called games off on Friday either because of pitches that were already waterlogged or the threat of the heavy rain and high winds likely to hit the south of England today with the storm. And more fell by the wayside today, with some called off relatively close to kick-off after more rain fell.

Games off in step two, three and four division INCLUDE: Eastbourne Boro v Wealdstone, Bognor v Bishop's Stortford, Enfield v Lewes, Leatherhead v Horsham, Chichester City v Hastings, East Grinstead v Cray Valley PM.

One game that survived was Crawley's League Two clash at home to Carlisle, with no word of any problems at the ground on Saturday.

Eastbourne Borough were among clubs to act early, calling off their home game with Wealdstone as early as Friday afternoon.

A statement from The Sports said: "This Saturday's scheduled home game with Wealdstone is OFF. Following discussions with the National League, opponents Wealdstone FC, and referee Rob Whitton, EBFC must announce the postponement of tomorrow's game.

"The decision is of course regretted, but we are sure you will understand that it is unavoidable in the interests of safety. Apologies to all, and we look forward to welcoming the Stones at a later (and less tempestuous) date."

In the Isthmian premier division Bognor v Bishop's Stortford was off. The Rocks tweeted: "In light of incoming Storm Dennis the club - liaising with @BSFCTheBlues (and considering the travelling they face) and a local referee - have erred on side of caution and postponed today’s @IsthmianLeague game."

Nyewood Lane suffered storm damage in last weekend's high winds - the awning covering terracing at the clubhouse end was badly damaged - but this has now been made safe.

Worthing FC's first v second clash against Folkestone survived the storm - not surprising given that the Rebels play on an artificial pitch.

Lewes were due to travel to Enfield but a pitch inspction and consideration of travelling difficulties led to a Saturday morning call-off.

Horsham were due to visit Leatherhead and that was a late casualty. But later Horsham tweeted: "After a late pitch inspection, the referee has decided to postpone today’s match against @LeatherheadFC. Details of the rearranged fixture will come in due course."

There was a high-profile weather casualty in the Isthmian south east with play-off chasing Chichester City having to call off their home game with leaders Hastings.

A City tweet said: "Following an early pitch inspection and taking into consideration the forecast weather our @IsthmianLeague fixture with @hastingsufc tomorrow has been postponed."

East Grinstead v Cray Valley PM was also called off on Friday.

Ashford Utd v Haywards Heath was still on while Burgess Hill hosted Three Bridges after the Hillians tweeted: "The Green Elephants’ surface is playable this morning, so our 11am pitch inspection has been cancelled!" Whitehawk visited Ramsgate.

The Southern Combination League was also affected although one club took action to avoid a waterlogged pitch. Alfold tweeted to say they had switched Saturday's game against Eastbourne Utd to the Camping World Stadium, Horsham, and its 4G pitch. It’s a 2pm KO.

SCFL games off INCLUDED: Upper Beeding v Bosham, Broadbridge Heath v Steyning Town, Midhurst v Southwick, Hassocks v Langney, Eastbourne Town v Loxwood, Crawley Down Gatwick v AFC Uckfield, Arundel v Seaford, Roffey v Worthing United, Storrington v Bexhill, Little Common v Saltdean.

All bar two games were off in Div 2 (still on are Montpelier Villa v Brighton Electricity and Copthorne v Rustington in the Div 2 Cup).

Lingfield v Horley Town, which was meant to take place on Steyning Town's 4G pitch, has been called off on safety and travel grounds after consultation with the match ref. But Pagham v Peacehaven was among games declared ON in the premier.

Other games able to be declared on with some certainty included some on 4G pitches - as shown by West Sussex League side Felpham Colts. They tweeted: "One game that is definitely ON this weekend - Colts firsts host @Milland_FC at the Arun Leisure Cetnre on the 4G 2pm kick off. Reserves away to @PetworthFC reserves is OFF OFF OFF #FCFC."

Not so lucky in the WSFL were Hunston Community Club - they said: "Game OFF tomorrow @HunstonCCFC v @eastdeanfc due to a waterlogged (no surprise) Reserves due to travel to @ThakehamVillage Res, we wait for news in the morning #fingerscrossed #mightyhares."

Rugby is not unaffected by the imminent storm.

Chichester RFC's first XV went to Cobham but have called off other teams' games at home at Oaklands Park. The Blues tweeted: "Storm Dennis is due on Saturday and torrential rain is expected. CDC have inspected the pitches this morning and all bookings for the weekend have been cancelled. The 2nd XV match against Portsmouth and the 3rd XV match against Worthing have been postponed. The pavilion will shut."

Bognor have called off their home action, which included a first XV league game. They said: "Unfortunately due to Storm’s Dennis and Ciara not wanting to celebrate Valentines there will be NO RUGBY at @BognorRFC this weekend Bar is open Saturday from 2pm ......... every cloud !!"

Horsham and Horsham Lions' games against Camberley and Camberley 2nd XV are also off.

A number of hockey games were called off - some because of waterlogged pitches, others because of travel difficulties.

Do check with your club if you are thinking of attending a sporting fixture this weekend. Any Sussex sport clubs wanting to be added to this round-up are welcome to tweet @stevebone1 with their match on/off updates.