The Nedd withdraw from Senior cricket
North West cricket was dealt another pre-season blow on Thursday evening when the Union's registration meeting was informed that Ballykelly- based outfit The Nedd had decided to withdraw from senior cricket with immediate effect.
It is the fourth time in recent years that the Union's plans have been thrown into chaos on the eve of a new campaign following a similar fate befalling Ballyspallen (twice) and North Fermanagh during the last decade.
Confirming the decision, former skipper Vinny O'Hara said that while it was an extremely difficult day for the club, they had been left with little option. "We had been confirming details with our playing squad over the past couple of days ahead of Thursday night's registration but were then hit by a number of withdrawals in the 24 hours leading up to the meeting. Gareth Burns had already confirmed that he was leaving to join Coleraine however this week we learned that Jamie Millar was heading to Drummond and Adam Bond had picked up an injury that was probably going to rule him out for the season.
Keith Hamilton had been set to join from Bonds Glen but Keith had a late change of heart while Martin Mehaffey has moved house and decided to try his hand nearer home. We felt that we needed to look at what type of squad we would then have left and we had to be fair to Kyle Morrow who has been brilliant for us over the past few years.
Aware of the situation Kyle felt that he had little choice but to look for another club. We arranged an emergency meeting at the club ahead of the registration and were left with little option but to notify the North West that we didn't have a squad capable of playing in Division 2. While it is obviously a dark day for the club it is certainly not the end of The Nedd CC and we hope to be accommodated to play Intermediate cricket for this season at least and see if we can build back from here".
The Nedd's withdrawal could theoretically have opened the door for Newbuildings or Ballyspallen to play in Division 2 but with the fixture list published and registration processes complete it looks altogether more realistic that Division 2 will now operate with just 7 teams this season.
Consequently the Cricket Operations Committee will now have to decide if only one team will be automatically relegated from either Division 1 or Division 2 at the end of the 2012 season as the new 8 team leagues kick in.