Carrickergus Cricket Club have issued a statement after they were stripped of the Intermediate Cup within hours of beating Donaghcloney Mill in Saturday’s final.
The club’s second eleven defeated Donaghcloney Mill by fours wickets, but within minutes of the game ending, it is believe a whistle-blower contacted the NCU to say that 16-year-old Luca Johnston was ineligible to take part.
The statement read as follows: “Carrickfergus Cricket Club was delighted that its second eleven won an entertaining Intermediate Cup final against Donacloney Mill on Saturday, August 12. Following this win, we were made aware by NCU officials that they have been contacted by an individual alleging we had fielded an ineligible player.
“We were advised by the NCU that the player in question was registered, and eligible, only to play in league matches.
“Our committee immediately launched an internal investigation, and following its conclusion, we accept that we have made a genuine error, and that the player in question was not eligible to play in Saturday’s final. We regret the fact that this matter was raised directly with the NCU just minutes after the final, however we accept our mistake.
“As a consequence the committee has agreed to forfeit our win and to return the Intermediate Cup to the NCU.
“We would like to pass on our congratulations to Donacloney Mill, who will now be crowned Intermediate Cup winners. We apologise, unreservedly, to them for making a genuine mistake which has undoubtedly overshadowed the final, WE also thank them for being worthy opponents, and for the great sportsmanship they showed on Saturday, both during and after the game.”