An Elgin-based Rugby League club has called time on their participation in a national league because of difficulties in recruiting new players.
Moray Titans were formed three years ago and immediately attracted both junior and senior players ahead of its participation in the Scottish National League.
A co-founder of the club was Adam Harrison, a local police officer who had been a former member of the Sheffield Eagles academy. Adam came to Moray as a serviceman with the RAF Regiment in Lossiemouth and after living in Moray for eight years was selected to play for the Scottish national rugby league side.
When the club was formed Adam said: “We want to give youngsters in particular another alternative thing to do during the summer months.”
The Titans competed in the national league for three seasons using Elgin’s Doocot Park as their home ground – however, on the eve of the 2014 summer season they have had to call a temporary halt.
Now club chairman, Adam said that low numbers turning out for pre-season and insufficient numbers to put forward a team for their opening game against Fife Lions brought about the decision not to compete this year – but he stressed that it was not the end of Moray Titans.
Adam said: “Its really disappointing but we had to make a decision as other clubs will have transport arrangements to make and this could impact on them financially if we were to just call off last minute.
“I hope we can generate more interest and get back to playing next season.”
The Moray side are not the only rugby league club withdrawing for the 2014 season, with Fife Lions themselves also forced to withdraw. The Titans will now seek ways of creating greater interest in the sport in Moray and aim to prepare a core squad of players to re-enter the national league next season.
Mr Harrison said: “Titans will still hold training for the youth academy starting on Thursday 15 May and the club hopes the high level of interest from last season will remain.”