IT must be increasingly obvious to WOSFL clubs that the prospects of their season getting underway again are shrinking with every passing Saturday.

Nobody has played in 2021 and the league suspension is looking likely to stretch to 11 weeks at the very least, assuming a re-start date of early March can be confirmed.

The sombre realisation that even this timeframe is in doubt is understandably causing ructions and is certain to have the league’s Interim Management Group sitting down to consider what their fallback options might be.

Various re-set proposals as well as the option of bringing the curtain down on the season have been voiced in some quarters, which made it all the more surprising to hear Benburb team boss Paul Lovering come out in favour of clubs finishing what they started and playing the campaigns to a conclusion.

It was back in early November, the famous old Govan outfit withdrew from the WOSFL after initially dipping their toes in the water and suffering three defeats in three Premier Division outings to Beith (5-0), Darvel (2-0) and Cumbernauld United (3-1.)

Lovering said: "I know people have said our horrible start to the season was behind our quit decision but nothing could be further from the truth.

“The manner in which the games were played out was certainly a factor, totally lacking a competitive edge and more like glorified friendly matches…and it was obvious our hearts, those of the players, backroom staff and club officials, were just not in it.

“There was next to no atmosphere because of the ban on spectators and further difficulties arose from having to keep dressing rooms locked and make players strip and change on our open terracings.

“One side of our New Tinto Park pitch is overlooked by family houses and those initial home games we played [Beith and Cumbernauld] had irate parents turning up at the pavilion to complain about naked players being in full view of their children. That was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back because a meeting was then arranged which everyone connected with the club attended and the unanimous agreement of everyone was to call it a day.

“We had always been in favour of giving it a go, but we didn’t have the answers to the constant obstacles being put in our path, not least of which was putting players and our loyal band of officials, many of whom are in the elderly age bracket, at risk from Coronavirus if we carried on.

“A lot of other clubs didn’t have the same thorny issues on their plate so it was right for them to keep playing and I would love to see them get the thumbs up to see out this season, though hand on heart I do believe their chances are looking slim at best.

“Hopefully something can be worked out because one of my former clubs, Clydebank, are going great guns in the Premier and are in with a real shout of making the play-offs and more importantly for their fans, taking the first step on the ladder back to Senior football.”

Benburb’s top scoring hit-man Ciaran Mulcahey moved to the Bankies during the extended close season and Lovering has encountered difficulties in unearthing a replacement since he was not allowed to attend matches even before the latest lockdown restrictions came into force.

Another departure from the Govan ranks is that of highly-rated goalkeeper Ross Connelly, who has joined East Stirling. The Bens boss has plugged the gap by snapping up Daniel McLean from Shettleston.