BOSTON Rugby Club coach Willem Jonker believes promotion is still possible next season - despite the Blue and Whites beginning the campaign with a 12-point deduction.
Jonker led the side to a league and cup double in his first season at the Boardsides, with Boston lifting the Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire Vase after beating Castle Donington on Sunday.
But last week, club officials learned they will begin the next campaign with the deduction.
This is because opponents Ollerton refused to complete the final 22 minutes of the two sides’ last fixture in the Midlands 5 East (North) Division, following an altercation on the pitch.
With the visitors comfortably leading, the hosts began dishing out some physical treatment to the young Boston side.
But when the Blue and Whites defended themselves, Ollerton walked from the field of play.
At a Rugby Football Union hearing in Coventry last week, both clubs were hit with the same deduction after admitting a charge of conduct prejudicial contrary to the interests of the Union.
Three players also admitted charges of striking an opponent contrary to law 10 (4)(a).
Boston’s Alex Kemp received a five-week ban, with Ollerton’s Scott Gretton and Luke Dymyd receiving 12-week and five-week bans respectively.
Although Boston were still granted their promotion, they now face the task of beginning life in Midlands 4 with a points handicap.
However, Jonker remains positive.
He told The Standard: “I thought it was a bit harsh, but we’ll have to work harder.
“It’s just made us more determined.
“The promoted teams last season - Southwell and East Retford - lost one and two matches.
“Our deduction is like three losses - so that just means we can’t slip up.”