Two Bendigo District Cricket Association teams have been ruled ineligible to compete in this weekend's grand finals.
The Kangaroo Flat second XI team and Bendigo United fourth XI team were informed by the BDCA board on Tuesday afternoon that they were no longer participating in their respective grand finals.
Both teams were found guilty by the BDCA board of playing an ineligible player in their semi-final and/or preliminary final wins last weekend.
Kangaroo Flat, who finished fourth on the ladder, defeated Golden Square in Saturday's semi-finals and then upstaged minor premier Strathdale-Maristians in Sunday's preliminary final to earn a grand final berth against Bendigo United.
Kangaroo Flat's ineligible player played in both games, so the BDCA has decided to schedule a preliminary final this Saturday between Strathdale-Maristians and Golden Square at Wade Street.
The winner will meet Bendigo United in the grand final on Sunday at Wade Street.
In the fourth XI, Bendigo United's grand final berth has been taken by Kangaroo Flat. The two teams finished tied in their semi-final last Saturday, but BUCC advanced because they finished higher on the ladder.
The Roos play Strathdale-Maristians in the grand final at Beischer Park.
"It was brought to the board's attention that Kangaroo Flat second XI had played an ineligible player that had not played enough games to qualify,'' BDCA president Travis Harling said.
"The board looked at the league rules and the rules are the rules. Playing an ineligible player means loss of match. Because Kangaroo Flat played Saturday and Sunday we decided it was best to schedule a preliminary final between Strathdale and Golden Square on Saturday and then play the final on Sunday.
"When Kangaroo Flat counted the amount of games the player played they counted eight games. However, they didn't read the rule that when a player doubles-up (morning and afternoon cricket) it only counts as one game, not two.
"The player doubled-up three times, so he only played five games, not eight.
"It's an honest mistake and Kangaroo Flat is feeling pretty ordinary about it...those are the rules and, we didn't like making the decision, but we feel we've made the right decision."
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Harling said it was a similar story with Bendigo United in the fourth XI where the club had made an "honest mistake".
"There's a rule that if you play more than three second XI games or one first XI game that you're ineligible to play in the fourth XI finals,'' Harling said.
"Bendigo United had one player who had played more than three second XI games.
"It's unfortunate because if it had happened in round four then the club would have lost its points, everyone gets a reality check and you move on.
"When it happens at this time of year it costs you a grand final berth."
The Bendigo Advertiser understands both clubs have accepted the decision and won't appeal the penalty.
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