Brixham chairman welcomes decision by league on cancelled game against Hatherleigh

BRIXHAM chairman Barry Orchard has welcomed the decision by a Devon League panel not to award Hatherleigh 20 points from the cancelled game at Boundary Park on July 22.

Brixham called the game off while Hatherleigh were on their way to the game on the basis the ground would be unfit due to heavy rain the day before and overnight.

A morning downpour was more than the soggy field could take, in the view of Orchard and other volunteers who work on the ground.

Hatherleigh felt the decision was premature – and that the ground would have been playable later in the day.

Hatherleigh claimed the maximum total of 20 points available for the game, saying Brixham had not followed the correct procedure for cancelling matches and had effectively conceded.

League officials considered a report from match umpire Chris Shelton from Torquay alongside Hatherleigh’s statement before making their decision.

The ruling issued on Tuesday said both clubs misapplied regulations relating to cancellations due to bad weather.

The statement, issued by league secretary Ed Leverton, concluded: “Having carefully considered the report submitted by the DACO umpire we are content that the decision to cancel the match, due to adverse weather and ground conditions was correct.  

“The Hatherleigh CC claim to the points for this match, as if it were a conceded game, cannot be upheld. :

Orchard said he was always confident the league would dismiss the claim from Hatherleigh, adding he acted in good faith at all times.

“We always said we had nothing to gain by calling the game off as we need points to stay up and wanted to play as much as Hatherleigh did,” said Orchard.

“All we were trying to do was save Hatherleigh from a fruitless trip as we knew after the last rain we had there was no prospect of playing.

“I understand they were disappointed being top of the league and wanted to play, but we wanted to play too.

‘From Friday onwards when the weather turned I kept Hatherleigh and the umpires informed

“No one at Brixham is gloating over the decision, but we do feel vindicated.

“We have always had good relations with Hatherleigh and hope this episode hasn’t soured them.”

Hatherleigh were not available for comment when asked to respond.