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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Quartet leave Recre for pastures new

SAM Cunningham and Scott George have been released by Whitehaven while Shane Ackerley is on his way to Gateshead Thunder to join Danny Barker on loan.

George featured twice for Haven this term and has returned to his amateur roots at Distington, while Wigan-based Cunningham, an ex-Widnes Under-20, made just one appearance.

“They are better off getting a bit of footy,” said coach Don Gailer. “They need to work on their game, and they can hopefully come back to us at another time.”

Recre product Ackerley has made three starts at full-back this term, including against Super League Salford in the Challenge Cup on Sunday.

“Shane plays with courage and he and Danny have something going for them,” Gailer added. “We’ll see what they can do over at Gateshead.”

Haven started the season with 29 players and have since added Jessie Joe Parker, though Peter Bewsher has left the Recre.

The club hope to re-launch their successful second-string next term after putting the Under-23s on hold this season, while ploughing resources in to their promotion bid.

Bradd Crellin, who patiently worked his way through the reserve-grade over recent years before seizing his chance this term, topped the tackle count against Salford. And Gailer hailed him as a great example to follow.

“That’s the attitude we want,” he said. “Bradd bided his time and worked hard.

“He made 41 tackles against Salford and ran strong with the ball. He wasn’t kicking stones when waiting for his chance.

“He has a good temperament, and if he keeps going, continues to work hard on the weights and listens, he has good things ahead of him.”

Crellin has now made five starts at loose-forward this year after just four appearances, all off the bench, in 2011.

Andreas Bauer and Stephen Fox, who have missed the last two games due to injury, are unlikely to be fit for Sunday’s clash with South Wales.

Meanwhile, confusion surrounds the future of the planned new £5.5m community stadium at Pow Beck after reports this week the project was in doubt over fresh demands made by Recre landlords Whitehaven Miners Social Welfare, who own the access road to the proposed facility.

The Miners emphatically denied they were making any demands to allow it to proceed.

“I’m absolutely gob-smacked how this has come about,” said Miners secretary Brian Birkett. “We haven’t got any problems.

“We are 100 per cent behind the stadium. Our chairman and others are season-ticket holders, die-hard Whitehaven supporters who want this to succeed.”

Birkett stressed that as far as the Miners are concerned, they have a deal with partners in the project, Haven, Whitehaven Amateurs FC, Copeland Council and Britain’s Energy Coast, subject to legal niceties.

“If there’s a problem, they have to come back to us and I will be the first to put my shoulder to the wheel to get it sorted,” he added.

“We came to a solution where a cash offer was made which we accepted. It was then the due process of completing the legal documentation.”

After the cash deal was agreed, Birkett added that a draft head of terms – defining the proposed terms of a contract – was drawn up.

From this document the Miners had fresh questions.

“We sent back a list of 39 questions covering five or six issues, such as drainage, fencing and roads. Nothing spectacular at all,” he continued.

“We agreed the financial bit and have some questions about what people want to do on our land, which is only fair and reasonable.”

That was on March 30 and he is awaiting a reply from the project partners. But he added that he did not believe the Miners’ latest queries would lead to additional costs to the project in cash or in kind.

It’s now thought that if a deal is signed over the next few weeks, the stadium can still be completed in time for the start of Haven’s 2013 season. But the clock is ticking.

This week’s Pride of Five £100 winners are: John Sessford, Fell View Avenue, Woodhouse, with ticket number 778; M Mossop, Main Street, Egremont, 3,824; G Barnett, Montreal Place, Moor Row, 1,056; Erik Thinnesen, Basket Road, Kells, 351; Roland Bell, The Crescent, Bransty, 3206.

Leeds Line winners: V3927, Jenny Martin; k5078, J Sudworth; c5695, M Boweden; c0940, DJ Scanlon; f2484 Jane Wilcock.

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