A MALTON and Norton fundraiser has raised close to £8,000 as the club looks to "ensure the ongoing viability of the club."

Malton & Norton have been out of action since early March amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

And last week the club's wait for a return to the field was dealt another blow when the Rugby Football Union announced that it was cancelling all of its 2020/21 men's competitions outside of the Gallagher Premiership and Greene King IPA Championship.

The sport are still hopeful of playing some matches, though it is thought that this could come in an adapted format of the game.

In the spring, Malton were able to furlough staff and were supported through local and central government grants, money which will keep the club running until next summer, they confirmed.

But they warned of "tough decisions" that they would be faced with, should the restrictions on sport continue for a prolonged period of time.

Malton have since set up a Crowdfunder page which, at the time of writing, has raised £7,837, having been launched late last month.

The club have said that they are hopeful that they can reach a total of £20,000 after Sport England confirmed their conditional support.

Sport England have agreed to match funding for an initial £5,000 should the club reach 100 or more supporters. At the time of writing, they have 89.

Once the 100 mark is reached, the Sport England money will appear as part of the running total.

Malton must then hit the £20,000 target (including their £5,000) to receive the money from them.

Club volunteer Ian Hepworth said: "I'm very confident we can do this but we need to keep the momentum going."

"If we can hit 100 supporters soon then the Sport England pledge will appear and that will give everything a huge boost."