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Horsford are looking over their shoulders after points deduction

PUBLISHED: 16:02 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:49 10 August 2017

Last month's EAPL match between Horsford and Copdock at Manor Park was cut short by the umpires because of concerns over the pitch. Picture: Tim Ferley

Last month's EAPL match between Horsford and Copdock at Manor Park was cut short by the umpires because of concerns over the pitch. Picture: Tim Ferley

Tim Ferley

Horsford are now just 21 points clear of the one Gibbs Denley East Anglian League relegation place after being punished for the early abandonment of their home game with Copdock and Ipswichian.

The club have been docked 30 points by the league following the umpires’ decision to call off last month’s fixture after just seven overs because they felt the surface at Manor Park was putting batsmen in danger.

With Horsford also losing the seven points they originally picked up from a draw, they are now looking anxiously over their shoulders at bottom side Bury St Edmunds, who could move above them if results went their way tomorrow.

Officials will also need to make absolutely sure there are no further transgressions, with a further 60 points deduction suspended until the end of the 2019 season, which could be activated if the pitch problems reared their ugly head again. On top of all that the club have picked up a £250 fine.

The EAPL announced the sanctions in a prepared statement which read: “After an investigation a ground disciplinary subcommittee met and decided on a 25 point win awarded to Copdock.

“Horsford will be deducted 90 match points with 60 suspended until the end of the 2019 season. This will not be implemented if no further umpires’ reports of unsatisfactory pitches are received. In addition Horsford are to pay a fine of £250. The League will make no further comment.”

Horsford, who host Frinton tomorrow while Bury visit leaders Sudbury, issued a statement of their own following yesterday’s ruling.

“Horsford CC are extremely disappointed that this incident occurred as we strive to produce quality surfaces for matches to be played on but unfortunately have failed in this instance,” it read. “Although every effort was made to rectify this situation following the abandonment this wasn’t achievable and therefore, as a result, we have accepted the punishment. The club will now move on from this incident and ensure that future wickets comply with the standards of the EAPL to host games.”

Tomorrow’s big match sees Swardeston host Great Witchingham.

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