Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) officials have stripped Merrivale of 6.65 bonus points for a team sheet oversight against Nirranda.
The WDCA match committee has also slapped a $250 fine on the Tigers after they failed to name James Fary on their team sheet for the division one match on October 20.
The verdict, handed down at South West Sport’s Timor Street headquarters on Monday night, comes after a drama-filled round two match between the clubs at Nirranda.
Opening bowler Fary was left off the Merrivale team sheet but came on to bowl the second over of the match.
Nirranda captain Jason Mungean brought up the issue with umpires Nick Frampton and Justin Balmer, who after a short discussion allowed Fary to continue. Fary snared 3-10 and was on a hat-trick at one stage as Nirranda collapsed to be all out for 89. Merrivale eclipsed the total with nine wickets in hand.
But a three-member WDCA match committee, chaired by Bruce Membrey, stripped Merrivale of its bonus points earned and fined the club.
The 6.65 bonus points were for making 265 runs (2.65 points), taking 10 wickets (2) and reaching the target within 80 per cent of the 45 overs (2).
Merrivale president Bill Fary said the club was disappointed with the decision.
But he was unsure if it would lodge an appeal.
Merrivale officials met last night to discuss their next move.
“It was an honest mistake. I thought maybe a minor fine,” Fary said.
“We thought the game should’ve been played in a better spirit than what it was in the end.
“Six points is half a match. We’re considering our position.”
WDCA general manager Andrew Sloane said the decision was appropriate given the minor nature of the rules breach.
“The match committee needed to take all evidence into consideration,” Sloane said.
“After a careful consideration of the various accounts, the match committee didn’t see fit to strip Merrivale of the win.”
Merrivale was one of two regional clubs stripped of premiership points this week.
South West Cricket officials penalised Boorcan six points for fielding ineligible player Sam Alexander during its round two win against Noorat.
Alexander made one not out and did not bowl during the match.
Noorat, which lost the match by 33 runs, has received the points.
Six points is half of the 12 points sides can earn for a SWC win. Boorcan kept its 3.75 bonus points. SWC secretary Grant Myers said officials made the decision after discovering a precedent set “four or five years ago”.
“He (Alexander) had put in for a clearance and the clearance hadn’t come through but Boorcan played him anyway,” Myers said.
“They’ve admitted their mistake. It was brought to my attention and I passed on to Boorcan we were looking at it.
“They rang Noorat and said they’d made an error.” In other local cricket developments:
n A lack of players has forced WDCA club West Warrnambool to pull out its division three side out of the competition.
n WDCA has relocated the division one and division two matches between Wesley CBC and West Warrnambool.
The division one match will be at Brierly hard wicket on the next two Sundays.
The division two match will be at Allan Oval on the next two Sundays.