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Moreland happy with Barking display before abandonment against Old Cooperians

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 December 2018

The Barking squad with Ray Steadman (middle), their former team manager (pic: Martin Dutt)

The Barking squad with Ray Steadman (middle), their former team manager (pic: Martin Dutt)

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An injury to referee Niamh Hennessey saw match called off at half-time

Andrew Moreland was pleased with how Barking were playing before their London Three Essex match at home to Old Cooperians was abandoned at half-time.

Saturday’s match between the two sides was called off at half-time after referee Niamh Hennessey pulled her hamstring.

At the time, Barking led 14-8 and would have wanted to see the game out for a first win in three league matches.

Instead, the sides will have to do it all again on January 19 when they will hope the game can reach a conclusion.

But director of rugby Moreland expressed pleasure with how the Gale Street club were playing prior to the abandonment.

“I was gutted because the way we played was closer to how we were playing earlier in the season,” he said.

“We were fluid in attack and solid in defence, but injuries to referees are part and parcel of the game which we have to accept.

“The game has been rearranged for January which is going to make what was already an important month even more vital.

“It’s a month that could make us or break us, but it’s a challenge that we’re looking forward to.”

Saturday’s game also marked the final match of Ray Steadman’s tenure as Barking team manager.

Steadman had worked tirelessly in the role for many years and has been an integral part of the set-up at Gale Street.

Now, though, Steadman has taken the opportunity to step aside and Moreland was full of praise for his contribution to the cause at Barking.

“Ray has been a superb servant to the club over the years and he has done so much for everyone, from the senior teams to the youth teams, on a weekly basis,” he added.

“He has been a fantastic part of the club and he has more than earned his rest.

“From everyone at Barking, we wish Ray the best of luck but we’re sad to see him go.”

Barking can now enjoy the next couple of weeks off over the Christmas break ahead of returning in the New Year.

And Moreland will hope the break stands his side in good stead as they bid to get the better of East London on January 5.

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