STAYLEY Cricket Club has been forced to switch its national semi-final back to the home of its opponents.
The Millbrook-based outfit was set to host Milford Hall for the right to play at Lords in the final of the Voneus Broadband Village Cup.
An initial meeting on Sunday, July 30, was rained off without the Tameside representatives batting, meaning it was switched to Oxford Street on Sunday, August 6.
However, an inspection of the ground on Friday, August 4, plus the weather forecast, meant the decision to take the game back to Staffordshire.
Had the match gone ahead at Stayley and been rained off, a place at Lords would have been decided by either a bowl off or even the toss of a coin.
A spokesman for Stayley CC told The Correspondent: “We had to make the decision to move it due to the state of our ground, the forecast and to give Milford enough time to prepare for it.”
In an announcement, the club added: “This was not a decision taken lightly, but after reviewing the current condition of our ground and this weekend’s weather forecast, we believe the best chance of getting a game in would be to play the game away from home.
“We don’t want to be in a position where the chance to go to Lords will be decided by a toss of a coin.
“We understand that many will share our disappointment with this news but be assured we have done everything we can, along with our groundsman, to try and get the ground in a position where we could play.
“Unfortunately, the weather has beaten us.”