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 Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 13:32 GMT
Abertillery withdraw from Cup
Abertillery RFC have become the second club to withdraw from the Principality Cup in protest over the handling of the fifth-round draw.

Division Two side Brynmawr pulled out of the competition last week after the Welsh Rugby Union refused to sanction a re-draw.

The draw, made live on BBC Radio Wales, saw Pontypool initially drawn against Carmarthen Athletic - who had been knocked out of the competition in the previous round!

The Gwent side were eventually paired with Cwmavon. Brynmawr followed Carmarthen Athletic out of the hat and may have expected the chance of a local derby with Pontypool, the Division One leaders.

We are satisfied that there were no procedural irregularities

WRU press officer Lyn Davies
Abertillery, currently in the bottom half of Division Two, were handed an away draw against Division One high-flyers Aberavon.

Abertillery chairman Martyn Edwards said he was disappointed by the WRU's refusal to accept responsibility for botching the draw or to offer any kind of apology to the clubs.

He also believes a re-draw would have been sanctioned if any "bigger" clubs had been affected.

"We didn't pull out until we talked to the players because it would have been a big occasion for them," said Edwards.

"We've got a lot of young players that have come from lower divisions, and so to play against a Division One side would have been a good experience for them.

"But they all felt Brynmawr had been let down, and they said they didn't want to play."

WRU press officer Lyn Davies said: "The draw was filmed and we have watched it and are satisfied that there were no procedural irregularities."

Brynmawr fixture secretary Robert Kershaw responded: "It must be a fair draw. This makes a mockery of the competition."


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03 Dec 02 | Celtic
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