A SHOCK points deduction could plunge Halesowen CC into the Birmingham League Division Two relegation scrap.
The News understands the Seth Somers Park outfit are facing a hefty points penalty as a result of incidents during and after their game at Harborne on July 9.
Hales are currently 39 points clear of the drop zone with two games of the season to go but a deduction could drop them closer to the mire and unsurprisingly the club are appealing the league’s decision.
Both the league and the club are staying tight lipped on the situation but there is no doubt this Saturday’s clash with bottom side Eastnor now takes on an event greater significance.
Skipper Wes Griffiths, who declined to discuss any possible points deduction, admitted the game would not be easy.
Griffiths said: “It’s a tough one because in many ways you want to be playing the team bottom of the league earlier than this.
“Eastnor won on Saturday and we have to go and make sure they don’t make it two in a row.
“They have got two or three players we need to control.
“I’m confident we are playing well enough to beat them.”
Hales’ situation was soothed somewhat by a four wicket win over Stratford-upon-Avon last weekend, which featued another excellent bowling performance from Dan Jeavons (pictured right) who took 6-53.
But that doesn’t tell half the story of a game in which at one stage the visitors were 61-8 before being let off the hook and totalling 201.
Hales then began their chase by losing Asif Khan and Hassan Quami for ducks and were indebted to a fine captain’s innings from Griffiths, who struck 76 not out in a middle order rally which eventually proved decisive.
Griffiths admitted losing the game would have hit morale hard.
He added: “It was a big win in the context of the season.
“It would have been a hard one to take considering the position we had them in at 61-8.
“I think it shows there is a lot of fight in the side. Cricket is a game of momentum and it was all on their side.
“Dan Jeavons bowled brilliantly, he really has come to the party the last three games.
“He looked like he could get a wicket with every ball he bowled.”