NW to set new cup dates after umpires strike
Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)
THE North West union is expected to announce the new date for the quarter-finals of the Senior Cup today after yesterday’s scheduled games were postponed because no official umpires were available.
The NW Umpires Association took the decision to “withdraw their services” from all the weekend’s league and cup programme in protest at the disciplinary committee failing to impose any player sanctions following a series of incidents in the Bready v Ardmore Premiership game on July 3.
Two players were reported for dissent and a Level 3 charge was brought against the Ardmore club for failing to control their spectators during a high-scoring game which Bready won by nine runs. The club was fined £300.
Discussions took place between North West officials and the umpires association to try and avoid the strike action but they were inconclusive and although two of Saturday’s Premiership games and all three Championship ties went ahead, with players umpiring the games, yesterday’s Cup ties were postponed.
In a statement issued on Saturday evening, the NWCU said: “We have continued to work today to try and find a resolution that would let these (cup) matches go ahead as scheduled, however that has not been possible. We understand that this is obviously disappointing and frustrating for everyone involved that tomorrow’s Senior Cup games will now be postponed. A new date for these matches will be set and announced shortly.
“In the meantime, the Union will continue to work with all parties to look to secure a permanent solution to this weekend’s issues.”
The two Premiership games which didn’t go ahead, between Donemana and Ardmore and Brigade v Newbuildings, were actually postponed by unplayable pitches and will also have to be rearranged.
With Ardmore, Newbuildings and Donemana all within a win of Bready in the updated Premiership table – the top four in Group A are playing the top four in Group B over the next weekends - the leaders took advantage to continue their 100 per cent start to the campaign.
Coleraine were the latest victims, restricted to 122 for eight – and that was only because of an unbroken stand between David Cooke and Stephen Hutchinson. Bready knocked off the runs in 18 overs, albeit for the loss of four wickets, after a second wicket stand of 94 between David Rankin and Irosh Samarasooriya.
Eglinton won the other Premiership game played, bowling out an under-strength Fox Lodge for 77 and winning by nine wickets to move into second place in the table.