Darley stripped of points, handed suspended fine over pitch saga

Darley has been stripped of points and given a suspended fine for its hand in the abandoned Ballarat Cricket Association first grade clash last weekend.

The battle between the Lions and Golden Point was called off without a ball being bowled on day two after umpires Ron Bedford and Peter Mackay declared the pitch too wet for cricket.

Darley president Marcus Ingvorsen was short and succinct with his comments to The Courier after learning of the club’s sanctions.

“We are understandably very disappointed with the decision and we will be looking at all avenues of appeal,” Ingvorsen said.

Earlier this week, Ingvorsen expressed his disappointment over the decision not to play on day two.

He said that umpires were too easily manipulated by Golden Point and felt the wicket was prepared fairly.

Ingvorsen slammed any suggestion that the pitch was doctored or foul play was involved, believing that even if there was a slight delay, cricket could have started by 1.30pm.

The Darley sanctions follow a protest from Golden Point.

In their findings, the BCA pennant committee noted that “there was no intentional error by the Darley CC curators or anyone else involved in the preparation of the pitch”.

“The Darley CC will not receive any points for the drawn match as it was their responsibility to ensure that the pitch was prepared and ready for the commencement of play at 1.00pm,” the report read.

“And the weather conditions had not contributed to the result with two games being played on the wicket in the preceding three days.”

The committee also noted “the amount of extremely negative social media that has been bandied around by members of the Darley CC”.

The Pointies were set to resume at 1-10 in pursuit of the home side’s first innings total of 200 when the game was abandoned last Saturday.

This has left Golden Point second on the ladder and Darley fifth.

The two teams are not scheduled to meet again during the home and away rounds.

Competition in the Ballarat Cricket Association will now break until round eight matches get underway on Saturday, January 13.