Sporting programme in England hit by wintery weather

Blizzards and plummeting temperatures across the UK have already claimed a number of the weekend’s sporting fixtures with more set to follow later in the day.

The Coca-Cola Championship football match between Scunthorpe and Ipswich has been postponed with the fixtures between Blackpool and West Brom and Cardiff and Leicester subject to checks at 10am and 11.30am respectively.

In League Two, Darlington v Northampton and Rotherham v Dagenham and Redbridge are off, and Port Vale v Chesterfield (10am) and Rochdale v Shrewsbury (10am) are set for inspections.

The Scottish Division Two match between Dumbarton and Alloa will also have a 10am inspection.

The fixtures already postponed were Colchester v Carlisle in League One and Aldershot v Bradford in League Two.

Last night’s League Two clash between Hereford and Lincoln was also postponed while six of this weekend’s Blue Square Premier matches are already off.

In rugby union, Newport Gwent Dragons and Biarritz will try again at Rodney Parade at 1.35pm after their match was called off last night because of a partially frozen pitch.

The weather has also caused several race meetings to be called off or to face further course inspections.

Officials at Ascot have abandoned today’s high-profile meeting.

As a result, for the second day in a row there will be no racing at the Berkshire course because of snow.

Ascot was hit with between three to four inches of overnight snow, and although frost covers were deployed over the whole track, clerk of the course Chris Stickels was forced to call off yesterday’s card.

Stickels then announced a 4pm inspection to assess the prospects of racing today, for a card featuring the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle and the Ladbroke, but he decided to make an early call on Friday.

“Having had a chance to look at things in detail, and assess the weather forecast, we have decided to make an early decision and abandon the meeting,” said Stickels.

“There is so much snow on the track it is going to be impossible to move it all and that means we were going to need a significant thaw, which we are not going to get.

“It’s obviously very disappointing as we were expecting a big crowd for what was a great card.

“But as soon as it became apparent things weren’t going to improve enough, we thought we would call it off so everyone can make other arrangements.”

This afternoon’s National Hunt meeting at Haydock has defied the cold snap and will go ahead as scheduled.

Today’s action on the hurdles track at Navan has received the all-clear following a morning inspection.

Although the chase course, due to stage the final two events on the card, is still under assessment, the hurdles circuit was found to be fit for racing.

Carlisle officials will check conditions this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s National Hunt fixture.

Please note that the below matches due to take place on 19/12/2009 have been postponed – due to snow, no new date has been set as yet.

Cheltenham v Burton Albion

Accrington Stanley v Barnet

Rushden & D’monds v Chester

Scunthorpe v Ipswich

Darlington v Northampton

Rotherham v Dag & Red

Luton v Forest Green

Crawley v AFC Wimbledon

Altrincham v Eastbourne

Ebsfleet United v Histon

Colchester v Carlisle

Aldershot v Bradford

Stevenage v Barrow End

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