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Rain causes Malvern cup clash to be shifted
2:01pm Friday 31st January 2014 in Rugby
MALVERN'S North Midlands Cup semi-final with local rivals Worcester Wanderers has been bumped back until April because of the poor weather.
The Spring Lane side were due to play the last-four derby clash tomorrow, but the rearranged Midlands One West visit of Walsall takes priority.
Malvern's pitch was deemed unplayable last weekend, so the game against Walsall has been switched for tomorrow (2.15pm), which means the cup contest must be rescheduled.
Head coach Nick Tisdale was due to take last night's training session on the Spring Lane pitch, but it is still extremely wet and muddy.
A decision on whether the game can go ahead will be taken this afternoon.
Malvern spokesman Peter Woods said: "The top training pitch with the floodlights actually drains quite well, but it is too small to play league games on.
"Anyway, Nick prefers his players to train on a similar surface to the one they will play on at the weekend, which is why they planned to train on the first-team pitch last night.
"With the Walsall game being off last weekend, a few players have had extra time to recover from their knocks.
"Number eight Jamie Anderson was set to be on the bench last weekend, but the extra week could mean that he now starts tomorrow.
"Fly-half Adam Dixon still has a shoulder problem and we need to make a late decision on whether he can play or not. Tom Longley will step in at 10 if Adam can't play, but Alan Keylock is definitely still out.
"We have a free Saturday at the end of February, which can be used if the game is postponed again this weekend. However, any more postponements after that could cause a backlog."
Woods added: "The North Mids semi-final would have been our first cup game at home in more than three years, but that will have to wait now.
"The final isn't played until May anyway, so the semi being shifted to April is no real problem."
Meanwhile, Malvern will be screening both of tomorrow's big Six Nations games on the big screen at their Spring Lane base.
The bars will be open for Wales' game with Italy (2.30pm) and England's trip to Paris to take on France (6pm) and everyone is welcome.