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Hornchurch feel stitched up by decision to call off clash

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 August 2020

Shane Barwick of Hornchurch drives into the offside during Hornchurch CC vs Brentwood CC, Essex Cricket League Cricket at Harrow Lodge Park on 22nd August 2020

Shane Barwick of Hornchurch drives into the offside during Hornchurch CC vs Brentwood CC, Essex Cricket League Cricket at Harrow Lodge Park on 22nd August 2020

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Hornchurch captain Billy Gordon feels they have been “stitched up” by a league decision to class their clash with Wanstead & Snaresbrook as a rain-off despite agreeing to re-arrange the fixture after an opposition player tested positive for Covid-19.

Merv Westfield of Hornchurch in action during Hornchurch CC vs Brentwood CC, Essex Cricket League Cricket at Harrow Lodge Park on 22nd August 2020Merv Westfield of Hornchurch in action during Hornchurch CC vs Brentwood CC, Essex Cricket League Cricket at Harrow Lodge Park on 22nd August 2020

The Herons were due to make the trip to Harrow Lodge Park to take on Gordon’s men on Saturday, August 15 but Wanstead chairman Martin Pluck called the league and Hornchurch skipper Gordon the day before the clash to see if a rearranged fixture would be considered after the positive test.

It was reportedly agreed to take place on a Sunday in the coming weeks, but the Shepherd Neame Essex League have since ruled the clash as a rain-off due to every other Premier Division fixture being abandoned on that date.

“We get stitched up all the time as a club, but I think that is one of the worst ones,” Gordon said.

“When Martin Pluck, the Wanstead chairman, phoned me up saying about one of the players having Covid-19 he said that he had spoken to Tom Clarke, the league chairman, and he said it’s fine to be rearranged.

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“I got an email from Tom as well before the weekend and everyone got rained off on the Saturday in our league, but we switched our fifths game over to Harrow Lodge.

“I went over to watch and they actually got a full game in, but then they had a league meeting and they’ve somehow come to an agreement that because everyone else has been rained off, we’ve had to call our game off as it’s only fair apparently.”

The Shepherd Neame Essex League Executive Committee had a meeting about the postponed fixture late last week.

A statement said: “The committee would again like to thank Wanstead for their fantastic response and in doing everything as per the guidance of the ECB and UK Government. We would also like to thank Hornchurch for their very reasonable and quick response to allow for the game to be re-arranged.

“When the league originally spoke to Wanstead on Friday (August, 14) it immediately allowed for the game to be rearranged because that would be the fairest thing to do in the circumstances.

“Since then we of course have had the Saturday fixtures on August 15 and of course all the Premier Tier games were abandoned at some point due to the weather – this meant that all teams got six points for that day.

“Therefore the SNEL Exec unanimously agreed at their meeting that the match should also go down as being abandoned with both teams getting six points. This is so that once again no clubs gain an advantage or disadvantage from the situation.”


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