East Grinstead booted out: Greens back in cup
FOLLOWING an investigation into the composition of the initially victorious East Grinstead side, Guernsey have been reinstated in the national Tier 2 Championship.
Nobody is more delighted than player-coach Andy Whalley, who responded to the news: ‘Round two is on Saturday 14 December. Let’s hope for a home draw.’
East Grinstead had come from behind to win last month’s game.
Afterwards, Whalley, complained: ‘This was a very different-looking East Grinstead team to that which we faced last year – they had five first-team players and their first team play in the Premier Division, so they had some incredibly strong players.’
Guernsey subsequently reported their concerns as to the strength of the English side and the England Hockey Competitions Department agreed they had a case.
In responding to the Guernsey club, EHCD stated: ‘England Hockey have decided to remove East Grinstead 2s from the competition. Guernsey 1s will be reinstated in their place.
‘East Grinstead 2s have been disqualified as they have been deemed to breach the ethos and spirit of the competition in line with regulation 188.8.131.52: Any team that is deemed by England Hockey Competitions Department to have breached the team composition ethos and spirit of the EH Championships referred to in regulation 5.3 may be liable to disqualification from any competition in which they were participating and may be fined.’
East Grinstead have the right to appeal the decision.
After the initial defeat Whalley said that such was the unexpected strength of their conquerors that Guernsey Firsts might need to look at which tier they enter in future.
‘You don’t want to sound like bad losers, but if those big clubs are allowed to play Premier players down in Tier Two and strengthen the competition we are in to that extent, you have to ask do we need to move down to Tier Three?