NORTH West cricket was dealt a massive blow on Thursday evening with the news that Limavady have withdrawn from the new look Premier League with immediate effect.
The club refused to be drawn on the reasons behind their decision but speculation has been rife in the past few days that several players were in negotiations with other clubs in the region as signs of uncertainty were growing.
The Roesiders issued a statement following a meeting with North West President Andrew Fleming where they confirmed that they were looking to be accommodated at a lower level within the Union as opposed to opting out completely.
“Limavady Cricket Club has made a formal request to the North West Cricket Union to permit the Limavady Cricket team to withdraw from the Premiership. The General committee of Limavady Cricket and Rugby Football Club has taken this decision reluctantly and only after carefully examining all options available. Limavady Cricket Club has a proud and distinguished history, having been one of the leading teams in the North West and indeed in Ireland for many years, winning not only the various North West trophies on many occasions but also the All Ireland Cup.
“The General committee believe that this decision is the correct approach in the long term interests of the club. The club exists to provide sport for the community; currently there are five sporting sections: cricket, rugby, hockey, soccer and bowls and each individual sporting section has associated costs. The general committee has the overall responsibility of managing the club finances and has to be realistic about the costs associated with such provision and tailor their ambitions accordingly.
“In the current economic climate Limavady CRFC cannot afford the expense of maintaining a competitive cricket team at the highest level. By taking this decision now the committee hope to preserve the long term future of cricket at the club. The club will have a single cricket team in the forthcoming season and it is the intention to build on this foundation and the hope is that in future years Limavady can again become competitive at the highest level”.
Speaking after the meeting the North West President said to Cricket Europe website NW section, he was saddened by events but he praised the Roesiders for handling the situation with the interests of the local Union at heart. “It is a deeply disappointing day to be losing a club of Limavady’s stature from the senior ranks, especially at such an exciting time in our history. Limavady have flown the flag for the North West with great success the length and breadth of the country and they have a long and proud tradition.
“Thankfully the club will remain within the Union and are intent on building from grass roots and the Union will offer them whatever support we can. Cricket here needs a strong Roe Valley representation and the decision to look to restructure in terms of youth is exactly the policy we are trying to promote. We wish the club every success in their endeavours”.
Limavady’s decision now means that Glendermott will take the Roesiders’ place in the top flight and in the respective cups much to the delight of all at the Rectory, while Killyclooney are re-instated into the Championship.