A team of north of Scotland cricketers have missed out on the biggest match of their lives after fielding two ineligible players.

Forres St Lawrence were told yesterday they had been disqualified from the CS (Cricket Scotland) Challenge Cup after reaching the final against Falkland on August 12 at Hamilton Crescent.

The current NoSCA champions admitted they had selected Neil McGrath and his teenage son Tommy and given them aliases for the first-round match against Leith FAB in Edinburgh on May 20.

They claimed they had only resorted to such measures to fulfil the fixture after Leith had previously travelled up to Moray only to be denied by the weather.

The club said last night: “Under the misguided belief there was no chance of us winning any game in the competition, we mistakenly thought it would be best to at least play the fixture rather than concede.

“We were two players short, so we picked a couple of former players who, although they have moved (to the south of Scotland), are still associated with the club.

“Here is where we have been very foolhardy in that we gave them aliases when we should have gone with their real names.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t lose – and then, unbelievably, we won another game, and had made the semi-finals.

“And then, there was a fairy tale result. The equivalent of a pub team had reached a national final.

“We have never tried to bring the game into disrepute and will withdraw from the competition if that is appropriate.

“However, we would like to think you may allow us the chance of a lifetime to play at Hamilton Crescent.”

There was no immediate word on whether the trophy would automatically be awarded to Falkland.

Falkland last night said: “We were very surprised to hear of Forres’ disqualification from the Challenge Cup. It’s a far from ideal situation. Hopefully, we will still get the opportunity to compete in a national final.”