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Relegation threat for Worcester's Dominies and Guild cricketers
CITY cricket club Worcester Dominies and Guild are set to be deducted 200 points and relegated from Division One of the Worcestershire League.
The Battenhall-based outfit were promoted to the top flight of the county set-up last season, but had to sign a contract agreeing to improvements at their Evendine Close ground before their elevation would be ratified by the league.
However, as all top-tier teams have to satisfy the possibility of Birmingham League requirements, Dominies needed to find a larger ground and entered into a plan to relocate to the city’s historic Cinderella Ground, in St John’s, for the 2014 season.
A planning hearing over the future use of the Cinderella Ground, which needs to be redeveloped before it can be used again, is not being heard until September 19, which will be too late for Dominies and they will be hit with their massive points deduction today.
On the field, Dominies impressed after moving to the top-flight and are sixth in the 12-team division with two rounds of matches to be played.
Yet a 200-point deduction will reduce their total to 59 and leave them well adrift of bottom side Oldswinford and condemn them to the drop.
Dominies chairman Ian Wilks said: “I admit that we signed the document last season, but all of our lads are devastated with the situation.
“They have been saying this season has now basically been the longest ever net session in the history of the game.
“The league committee have their reasons, but what does this decision say about the development of cricket in Worcestershire?
“We have been boxed into a corner and are pretty much resigned to relegation – we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.“ Wilks added: “We were initially denied promotion to Division One at the end of last season, mostly down to the size of our ground and various other issues.
“We had a deadline of April 1 to make certain improvements to the ground, which we rent off the University of Worcester.
“We did what was asked, so avoided a points deduction and were promoted to Division One.
“However, I had to sign a contract with the league along the lines of if the Cinderella Ground wasn’t ready for next season, we would be deducted 200 points.
“We had to sign up to that or we wouldn’t have been able to go up.“ As part of their initial promotion to Division One, Dominies had to create a third XI, which plays in Division Nine, but that side and the second XI are unaffected by the points deduction.
Worcestershire League secretary Chris Marsh declined to comment on Dominies’ situation.