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L&Y final hope is dashed

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:32 11 May 2010

Lowestoft & Yarmouth will not be going to Twickenham after the Rugby Football Union opted to fine their semi-final opponents following racist remarks made in a match programme.

Lowestoft & Yarmouth will not be going to Twickenham after the Rugby Football Union opted to fine their semi-final opponents following racist remarks made in a match programme.

Cornwall side Liskeard-Looe admitted one charge of publishing profane and offensive material and a second of publishing racially abusive content in the programme of their EDF Energy Junior Vase semi-final against Lowestoft & Yarmouth on Saturday, March 21.

The RFU hit the club with a £2,500 fine instead of kicking them out of the competition.

Chris Quinlan, chairman of the RFU disciplinary panel which also comprised Mike Curling and John Doubleday, said: "This is an extremely serious case.

"As the club recognised in the hearing, the offending material brought the game into disrepute. Why such material was ever published is beyond our comprehension.

"Such material damages the reputation of the game, which is rightly proud of its image as a wholesome, clean, fair, family orientated sport, open and welcoming to all. Racism and homophobia have absolutely no place in rugby union.

"However, we did take on board the club's regret and distress that the material was published in its name. We were also conscious that the club has earned a place in a Twickenham final on May 9 in what will be the biggest game in its history.

The RFU said the club must pay the fine within 28 days and send unreserved apologies to the chairman and chief executive officer of EDF Energy a written unreserved apology for the content of the programme and Keith Nelson, the chairman of L&Y, publish in the local media an unreserved apology for the content of the said programme and for 28 days pulish and apology on their website and in their club house.

Meanwhile L&Y manager Matt Jary believes his side are capable of holding their own in the London Leagues after winning promotion at the weekend.

A 44-0 demolition of Woodbridge with No.8 Marc Thomas scoring five tries secured the Eastern Counties One title for L&Y, who have won every league game this season, with three matches still to go.

The Blue and Whites now join local rivals Beccles and Wymondham in London Division Four and Jary says promotion is just reward for his talented squad.

"I don't think it's too big a step to be honest, and I think the squad and its fringe players are good enough to cope well in the London leagues," he said.

"The travelling won't be too much than we already do. The team has a nice blend of youth and experience, are strong up front and pacy out wide.

"We will need to learn how to win tight games, close matches out and play for the full eighty minutes rather than be runaway winners each week like this season."

"I'm immensely proud of the guys. Team unity like this doesn't just happen; everyone has made an effort to pull it all together by training and socialising with each other.

"They're a talented bunch, so it's only their level of determination and dedication which will limit their success. I don't believe there is a physical trophy, but I'm sure we'll be celebrating anyway."

The club's gentleman's dinner this year is being held on Friday, April 24.

Last year this event sold out, so order tickets as soon as possible or make a provisional booking by calling chairman Keith Nelson on 07939 542 407.

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