Top batsman scratched from semi at 11th hour
THERE will be no love lost between Lennox Head and Tintenbar-East Ballina in the Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket semi-final at Megan Crescent Oval, Lennox Head, this weekend.
The home side are seething top-order batsman Daniel Emms was rubbed out of the game by the Far North Coast Cricket Council after an appeal on his eligibility was made by Tintenbar-East Ballina.
Emms has only played four games this season but was given the green light with special exemption to play by the LJ Hooker League executive committee last month.
The decision was overturned by the FNC Cricket Council on Tuesday and counter appeals from Lennox Head to the North Coast zone and NSW Country Cricket were unsuccessful.
Emms scored a century in a semi-final at the same ground two years ago and would have been a handy inclusion for the Pirates.
"We're pretty disappointed with the process considering we went through the right avenues weeks ago," Lennox Head club president Mark Duncan said.
"It's a flawed process and we would have just went straight to the council if we knew decisions could be changed at the last minute.
"Daniel started the season with us before he was transferred back to Macksville with work.
"He hasn't played any other cricket and wouldn't have moved on if he didn't have to.
"This is a guy who has been a committee member, worked as a pitch curator at the ground and done plenty for our club.
"He could have come back and played the last two games of the season but we told him he had already qualified for finals."
A representative from the FNC Cricket Council confirmed Tintenbar-East Ballina made contact with them and said it had the right to overturn any decisions made by the LJ Hooker League executive committee.
The council member also confirmed that the North Coast zone and NSW Country Cricket upheld the decision.
The teams played in the final round at the same ground last weekend with Tintenbar-East Ballina getting the win.
It is not all bad news for Lennox Head, though, with opening batsman Sam Lucas back after missing the last two games.
In the other semi-final minor premiers Cudgen take on Marist Brothers at Reg Dalton Oval, Kingscliff.
Both games start at 11am and will be played today and tomorrow.