ST Benedicts have withdrawn from North One West after the postponement of successive matches against Northwich over the past fortnight.

The Cumbrian club confirmed their decision on Friday, and their results were duly deleted.

It left Blacks second in the standings before kick-off yesterday at Firwood Waterloo, where they ran out 26-7 victors.

News that the Whitehaven-based back-markers, beaten in 18 of the 19 fixtures they completed, had pulled out with six games to play was a blow to the Merseyside outfit.

They had beaten St Benedicts twice, and so lose 10 points from their total.

Meanwhile the playing record of Martin Poste’s men, denied an opportunity to take on the division’s worst team, remained unaltered.

“At least everybody knows where they stand,” reflected Blacks’ director of rugby.

“We’d been uncertain all week, and that helps nobody.”

A first meeting between Northwich and St Benedicts, scheduled for March 17 at Moss Farm, was postponed when the visitors claimed they didn’t have enough players available.

Blacks travelled more than 150 miles to Newlands seven days later, only for the game to be called off minutes before it was scheduled to start.

The referee, after consulting with both captains, decided that heavy rain earlier in the week had left the pitch waterlogged, and unsafe.

Poste said: “The league is keen for everything to be decided on the pitch, and so we helped them out by agreeing to go up there.

“That’s despite the RFU’s own regulations saying the opposite should have happened after Bennys cried off the week before.”

The RFU North’s committee met on Tuesday night to discuss their next move, and ordered afterwards that both fixtures between the teams be rearranged.

That will not now happen.

St Benedicts, in brief remarks posted on one of the club’s social media accounts, insisted that a shortage of players is not the sole reason for their decision.

“We discussed it, and could have raised a team for the remaining games,” it read.

“[However] it’s time for us to regroup and go again next year; we’ll sort the pitch problems and come back stronger.”

Meanwhile the league’s secretary has not responded to a request from the Guardian for comment.