Byron Bay club caught short by departure of key bowlers
BYRON Bay is the latest casualty in Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket and won't field a team this season.
The Bay were one of the leading teams in the 2012-13 competition and made the semi-finals for the first time in more than a decade.
"We've lost some players and we probably only had six or seven left who were of first-grade standard," club president Greg Daniels said.
"A lack of bowling was the biggest thing, our top three bowlers have left town."
Oscar Langoulant (Darwin), Tom Barry (Geelong) and Sebastian Campbell (Gold Coast) spearheaded the bowling last season.
Daniels is disappointed to lose promising juniors such as Tobyn Burvill but wasn't about to stand in their way of finding another club.
"It's sad to let the juniors go but they've all indicated they'll come back if we get a team next season," Daniels said.
"We weren't sure if we were going to get a team because half of last year's players were unavailable."
The cracks started to appear towards the end of last season when the side went through three captains by the time they reached the finals.
Byron Bay has strong juniors with its Under-12s, Under-14s and Under-16s all making finals last summer.
However, Daniels said it would be too much to bring so many teenagers into first grade.
"We can't bring 15-year-old kids into first grade when they're not ready for it," he said.
"We're not throwing in the towel by any means but that's just the way it is."
The club ruled out the possibility of returning under the Brunswick-Byron joint venture that operated successfully for a numberof years.
Lennox Head could not field a side two years ago but returned last season.
The LJ Hooker League will now be a 10-team competition starting next week.
"It's disappointing to have any team pull out," Hooker League chairman David Hutchinson said. "Hopefully they'll return next season."