BOTH Kangaroo Flat and Bendigo United say they are bitterly disappointed for their players who have lost the chance to play in Bendigo District Cricket Association grand finals this weekend.
The Roos' second XI and Redbacks' fourth XI teams on Tuesday were both ruled out of the upcoming grand finals after being found to have played ineligible players during last weekend's finals games.
Kangaroo Flat's second XI beat Golden Square by 44 runs in Saturday's elimination final and then defeated minor premier Strathdale by five runs in Sunday's preliminary final and were to have played Bendigo United in this weekend's grand final.
However, it was discovered after the weekend's games that Kangaroo Flat's William Collicoat hadn't met the eligibility to play in the second XI finals team.
Collicoat playing five second XI and three third XI games in the home and away season didn't meet the BDCA's eligibility requirements.
All three third XI games were played on the same day as Collicoat played second XI matches, but under rule 22.13 doubling up on the same day only counts as having played one game towards finals eligibility.
Therefore Collicoat is only classified as having played five games and is three short of the minimum requirement of eight he needed to be eligible for finals.
"From a club point of view we put our hand up straight away and acknowledge that we left the association with no choice and understand the position we put the board in," Kangaroo Flat president Brad Thomas said.
From a club point of view we put our hand up straight away and acknowledge that we left the association with no choice and understand the position we put the board in- Brad Thomas
"It was an honest mistake that obviously has some big consequences, which we acknowledge it probably should because playing a player who isn't qualified shouldn't be done and we have to own that.
"The playing group is obviously gutted; they have gelled together really well as a team and were probably playing as good a cricket as any team at the moment after two really strong wins last weekend.
"But credit to the way the group has handled this; they understand it was an honest mistake by the club."
The rule that the Roos are found to have breached is 22.1, which wasn't printed in the BDCA rulebook for the season.
"Rule 22.1 when it went to print was left out of the rule book. So we sent an addendum out to the clubs saying this rule has been excluded from the rule book and it needs to be included," BDCA president Travis Harling said.
"The initial rule was that to be eligible for finals you need to have played 10 games in the firsts or seconds and eight in the thirds, fourths and under-18s and then when COVID impacted and we lost two rounds we sent a further addendum to that rule reducing it from 10 to eight for the firsts and seconds and eight to six for the other grades."
As a result of Kangaroo Flat having played an ineligible player in its wins against both Golden Square and Strathdale-Maristians last weekend, the BDCA board has made the decision to schedule the Bulldogs and Suns in another second XI preliminary final this Saturday at Golden Square.
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The winner will then play Bendigo United in Sunday's grand final at Golden Square.
Meanwhile, Bendigo United's fourth XI was ruled ineligible for the grand final after it was found Archer Day had played too many games in the second XI to qualify for last weekend's semi-final team that tied in its game against Kangaroo Flat.
Rule 22.6 states "a player playing more than three games in second XI or more games in second XI and third XI in total than fourth XI shall be ineligible to play in the fourth XI finals series."
"The club is really disappointed for the kids who will now miss the fourth XI grand final this weekend. We haven't got any senior men playing in the fourth XI and didn't intend picking any for the grand final," Bendigo United president Adrian Bassett said.
The club is really disappointed for the kids who will now miss the fourth XI grand final this weekend- Adrian Bassett
"The boys are very disappointed, as is the club. It doesn't sit well with us that they miss a grand final.
"We will be speaking with the BDCA about this and a number of their rules at season's end."
With Bendigo United out of the fourth XI grand final, Kangaroo Flat has been included to play Strathdale-Maristians at Beischer Park on Saturday.
"It's a strange situation for us as a club with what has happened because we've got the disappointment of our second XI missing out, but on the flipside we're the club that has benefited from the fourth XI situation," Kangaroo Flat's Thomas said.
"We obviously have 12 very disappointed second XI players and then a group of mainly fourth XI kids who now get an opportunity."
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