SEEDING FARCE AFTER WASHOUT
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS and GREG WHITE
AFTER making it all the way to the last eight teams in the state last summer, Coffs Harbour's representative cricket team has been bundled out of this year's SCG Country Cup competition without even bowling a ball.
Wet conditions forced yesterday's match against Macleay Valley at Brelsford Park to be abandoned. The visiting team were seeded higher when this summer's fixtures were drawn up and because of this, it's Macleay Valley that progresses through to the next round.
Association president Ken Robinson is still scratching his head at how Coffs Harbour can go so well one summer and then be seeded so low the next.
"As far as I'm aware, and I've asked for the last three years how it's worked out, the seedings are done on a rotational basis," he explained.
"There are three cricket council's within the North Coast zone, there's the Far North Coast, North Coast and us as part of the Mid North Coast. Each year they take it in turns to have the number one seed. "This year it was North Coast's turn to be seeded first and they gave the number one seeding to Manning River while Macleay Valley came in at three. After them then it was the Mid North Coast associations that were seeded with Coffs Harbour at five."
There's a possibility that the futility of this system could be highlighted this week if all matches in yesterday's second round were washed out like the match at Brelsford Park.
"Wallsend won the competition last year but if their match was washed out then they're out of the competition as well," Robinson added.
"Tweed River made it through to the last four but in their match with Casino, if it's washed out then Tweed are out as well."
Robinson revealed yesterday that the association's executive is likely to write to the North Coast Cricket Council about the issue.
The weekend's bad weather also meant that for the second time this season the CH&DCA was forced to cancel all matches due to be played on Saturday. It's a repeat of the 2005-06 situation where rain caused frequent disruptions to play.
"The decision to abandon was made at 9.30am on Saturday," Robinson said.
"The rainfall had totalled 40mm in the previous 18 hours so we had no choice."
First, second and fourth grade matches will now be played as one-dayers next weekend, while Saturday's scheduled one day matches in third grade will be recorded as a 'no result'.