The North West Championship will be a 7-team affair this year after Drummond formally requested to opt out of the senior division due to a lack of players.

Over the past number of weeks and days, Union officials have been working with the Roe Valley club as they struggled to put together a squad capable of competing in this year's Championship.

Drummond do currently have a very decent youth structure and intend to keep that, and a Qualifying 3 team going while they try to resolve their current personnel situation.

The North West have formally agreed to the request, with General Manager Peter McCartney, confirming that the end result would be a 7-team second tier in this season's NW league structure.

"It's not ideal but we completely respect Drummond's position and itís a decision we have supported to help ensure the long-term future of the club" he suggested.

"We could have gone down the route of looking to bring somebody up from the Qualifying Leagues but the fact is that we felt it would be unfair to make those demands of anyone at such short notice.

"In the meantime we will continue to support Drummond in their integration process. We need cricket to be strong in the Roe Valley area and the club have been working hard on their youth structure these past number of years.

"As a Union we will work together with the club to help grow playing numbers again and hope they will be back in the senior ranks in the not-too-distant future."