Let's be honest; it hasn't been a great week for cricket in the North West.

The loss of Creevedonnell from our list of clubs was by some way the biggest blow however the news that we had failed to land a single Interpro contract from the seven awarded did little to brighten the mood either.

I have had many chats with Brian Dougherty down the years and it's fair to say that it was no secret that as times got leaner for the game here at club level, places like Creevedonnell would become more vulnerable.

'B Doc' would always remind us that they play on the side of a mountain so when it came to attracting players they would never be top of the pecking order.

He was extremely candid when he did the wee interview for Cricketeurope at the weekend- keen to let everyone know that the NWCU had done everything his club had asked of them.

And while that at least was good to know, from a personal perspective I strongly believe we need to look for something; anything that might prevent a similar fate befalling the other vulnerable clubs(of which there is currently more than one).

A generic solution is difficult obviously because the problem is fluid.

A few years ago I wrote an article that suggested that the Iphone and Xbox era was a major threat not just to cricket but to every sport bar football.

I won't bore you with the replies I got, most of which laughed off the notion.

It was never intended to be taken literally as I wasn't suggesting that Xboxes have replaced actual sport (although that's debatable too). It was about a new culture where the vast majority of youngsters have a plethora of distractions that mean committment to practicing 2 or 3 nights a week and standing in a field for 8 hours on Saturday are almost a thing of the past.

In the same way Creevedonnell were competing for an ever-decreasing number of bodies and the fact that they live up a mountain made them a prime target for the apathy.

I realise that any of my friends outside the North West may have difficulty in understanding that, as evidenced by several social media interactions last week.

Numerically for example, the population of Leinster is ten times the size of ours. Statistically, using the theories of mean, median and mode as taught to me back in the day by Reg North at St Columb's College- for every player we have, you should have a team.

Added to that I would reference Trevor Hamilton's telling reply about demographic. Cricket in the North West is played in mostly rural areas- Donemana with a population of just 1000 Trevor's excellent example.

In short, 20 years ago the Holm side could have fielded 5 teams at any given time- the equivalent of 5.5% of its entire population.

That's the same as Dublin boasting more than 80,000 club cricketers in today's currency.

Ok yes, I'm being ridiculous to force a point but maybe it will give some sort of understanding of what we're dealing with.

On second thoughts however it's possible that those were the figures used to work out the Interpro contracts!

A touch mischievous again, sure, but in my opinion still another in a series of snubs to the North West. We may moan for a living but Christ they don't half make it easy for us.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that contracts should be distributed in rotation, but we always seem to be waiting for crumbs to fall off tables.

It doesn't help that CI are now looking to ensure a more competitive Interpro series by seconding one or more of the newly contracted players.

So to make up for the disappointment of none of our players getting contracts we have access to one or two who did.

It's like the script of a Spike Milligan movie.

The one thing that has identified the Warriors ever since the Interpros began has been their team spirit. This, don't forget is the side who when all results are collated finished second to Lightning across the spectrum last year.

I do accept that there were committment issues in the past and that hindered where Ian and his coaching staff were looking to go.

I also fully accept that Niall O'Brien was brilliant for the Warriors last year and I dearly hope we get him back.

Niall, and hopefully William Porterfield would really lift the profile of the Warriors and would have been a perfect foil to support one or two of our young squad had they been awarded full time contracts.

I get too that this may have been intended as a group wake up call.

What I absolutely fail to buy however is that there was no-one in the North West who didn't tick the relevant boxes of age profile, ambition, talent and committment.

Because there is.

One of the other things I have habitually harped on about locally is trying to get a buy-in from our clubs to the Warriors. It's a two-way equation- if we had a contracted player or two it would make sense that part of their itinerary would be doing a bit of coaching at some of the clubs around the Union that wouldn't normally have that opportunity.

To be fair to the people who made the decisions I can see the line of thinking but the notion that we have missed an opportunity is never far away.

To that end I would appeal to my colleagues on the NW Board of Control not to spend any time patting ourselves on the back that Creevedonnell have admitted it wasn't our fault. The bottom line is that we still lost a club.

Instead we should be looking at ways of trying to lessen the chances of it happening to anyone else. There is no magic wand that is for sure and clubs need to be realistic about what can be done and what they need to do themselves but surely we now have the resources to sit down with each and every one of them.

Interprovincial cricket is fantastic and the International stuff will remain as top priority as that pays the bills.

Our problem is that if we're spending hundreds of thousands on youth development we need to make sure that the clubs are strong enough at local level to take players to the next stage.

And if we're really serious about making cricket mainstream then the structure has to support boys and girls who want to play for fun just as much as supporting the next Kevin O'Brien.

I read several times in the last few months that cricket is the fastest growing sport in Ireland.

I can't think of one area of the North West where that is the case.

And it certainly won't wash in Creevedonnell.