KEIGHLEY RUFC cannot catch a break on the field at the moment, with an exciting game against Bradford & Bingley earlier this month called off at the last second.

And with all community rugby union and league now stopped, as well as all training at League One side Keighley Cougars, there will be no more games with the oval ball in the district for a while.

Discussing the B&B postponement, Keighley RUFC head coach Dan McGee said: “We were all ready for the Bees (on January 2), but then we had a call the day before from them saying two of their lads were showing coronavirus symptoms.

“Understandably they didn’t want to take any risks and called the game off, but it was very frustrating for us, as we were raring to go.

“We had a match arranged with Bradford Salem for the following week, before cluster games (friendly tournaments against other local teams) set up by the RFU from the end of this month.

“But the full lockdown has put an end to all of that, and I think the RFU have now said, when we’re all back up and running, that it’s down to us to arrange our own friendlies.

“There’ll be no organised competitions.”

Despite this latest blow, and no league rugby for Keighley between March 2020 and September 2021, McGee is not worried about his players losing interest.

He said: “I was talking to the lads in a couple of the training sessions we had before we had to stop, and we all agreed we are in a good position as a club.

“On the playing side of things, we’ve kept going since day one of this pandemic.

“When we’ve been able to hold training, we’ve averaged about 25 lads per session.

“We’re not playing games, but we’re working hard for when we can get going again.

“It’s a fitness and social thing too, there’s a good team spirit, and it’s helped everyone’s health and well-being.”

Another reason to be positive is the generosity shown by those in the Keighley community and further afar, who helped raise nearly £20,000 to keep the club going through the pandemic and beyond.

McGee beamed: “It’s unbelievable that we’ve raised that much. Me and (director of rugby) Russ Gibson talked about it and decided we’d give the fundraising idea a go.

“We initially set £5,000 as our target, then Sport England put in £5,000 alone.

“After that, the support just kept coming in, so I just want to say thanks to everyone that helped out.

“Hopefully that money is going to help put us in a good position for when next season starts in September.

“I know it’s a bit of a cliche to say this, but at the moment, we just have to take each month as it comes while we’re still going through this pandemic.”