Woodvale have been confirmed as semi-finalists after Cricket Ireland rejected an appeal by Limerick.
The Cricket Ireland statement said that in addition to not producing a DLS sheet within the stipulated time, that Limerick were using an outdated copy of the DLS software, putting them in breach of regulation 12A of the competition rules.
Following the adjudication, Woodvale released the following statement on their website:
Woodvale Club statement
Due to the resultant media and social media coverage of the events of the quarter final of the National Cup against Limerick CC that we at Woodvale CC feel obliged to provide a balance on these events.
Please note this statement has been released having spoken at length with CI on the matter.
During the tea interval there was an indication that the computer was updating software, even though there had been a test performed earlier that day. The Umpires insisted that we could not take the field of play without production of a paper copy of the DLS.
As a result the Umpires called the CI Tournament Director, who suggested that if both captains were in agreement, play could restart in anticipation of the arrival of the DLS sheets. In addition, it was suggested that 6 overs be allowed for the production of the DLS, albeit this potentially considering the weather conditions could have represented 60% of the game.
The weather had been poor all day; persistent rain, drizzle and fading light which had already led to two changes of the ball.
Having been the victims of an unprecedented rule change in the 2014 Irish National Cup semi final, we decided that we should not agree to this and therefore the Umpires administered the rules as they had originally advised.
As a result the Umpires awarded the game to Woodvale CC. We would reiterate we did not claim the game as indicated via social media.
The match was scheduled to resume at 4:55pm, with all available extra time having been used up. On leaving the ground at 5.10pm we were approached by a Limerick official who handed the now produced paper copy DLS. The time printed on the D/L sheet was 5:02:44pm (7minutes 44 seconds late) Not 2 minutes late as has been claimed.
The issue of the Spirit of Cricket is a moot point in this instance, as in the second over of the game we witnessed a ‘Mankad' appeal by one of Limerick CC bowlers, which was dealt with by the standing Umpire and apologised for by the Limerick CC Captain.
Fortunately later in the game Woodvale batsmen, approached by the Umpires agreed to two changes of the ball and the Woodvale Captain also walked when a fine tickle and polite appeal was caught behind (unfortunately not seen often in today's professionally orientated cricket environment.)
The ensuing response on social media, including CI Contracted Players and the Munster Cricket Union was alarming. In this situation we can understand an emotional response by the individuals involved; however by other Clubs and Unions without the full facts is unhelpful at best.
Woodvale CC is 100% behind the decision made by the Captain; indeed we applaud the restraint shown on social media by our players and also when they were leaving a ground shrouded with a tense atmosphere.
However we as a Club do not wish to exacerbate this situation and want only to deal with the facts detailed above. Indeed we are proud that in today's environment, we have players prepared to travel long distances to fulfill fixtures and represent our Club.
On a separate issue, it was reported on CricketEurope that Woodvale CC have progressed to the semi final of an All Ireland competition without winning a match. Unfortunately in this, as in previous seasons, there have been numerous incidents of teams failing to fulfill fixtures and with our team leaving Belfast at 6am and returning at 10.15pm, undertaking an over 500 mile round trip, our commitment to this competition should not be doubted and highlights our willingness to embrace the ethics and spirit of this competition and cricket in general.
As such we should not be castigated for the failure of other teams and the difficulties they face in fulfilling their obligations to this competition. We at Woodvale CC will not allow our history and reputation to be unfairly tarnished by this incident and believe the detail above vindicates our position and therefore we as a club shall be making no further comment.
Yours in Cricket
David Scott (President) Woodvale Cricket Club
Woodvale will now go into the hat for Thursday's semi-final draw along with holders Rush, Newbuildings and Laois.