Hamilton-Wickham are looking to appeal a five-match suspension handed down to first grade skipper Josh Trappel that would see him miss the rest of their premiership defence.
The club has one week to lodge paperwork with Newcastle District Cricket Association after the judiciary slapped Trappel with the season-ending ban on Thursday night for an incident from last month’s T20 final.
The panel found Trappel guilty of “unbecoming behaviour bringing the game into disrepute” and their three-game punishment was increased by another two because of carry-over points from last season.
Trappel, who was suspended for two matches in 2016-2017 and consequently ruled out of representing Newcastle’s representative side at the NSW Country Championships, had entered a plea of not guilty.
Only four weeks remain in this campaign meaning Trappel is set to miss Hamwicks’ crucial last-round encounter, semi and grand finals if they qualify, and at least two fixtures next summer.
“We’re very disappointed with the outcome,” Hamwicks president Scott McInnes, who was alongside Trappel at this week’s hearing. “We have seven days to appeal and we will be looking into that.”
The incident in question took place between innings of the NCC Summer Bash decider at No.1 Sportsground on Sunday, February 18.
Trappel reportedly approached umpires Daniel Moran and Gary Crombie to question the amount of time opponents University had taken to bowl their allotted overs and asked whether a penalty would be imposed.
After discussions with Hamwicks’ teammates he then went back to further enquire about the matter with the on-field adjudicators and other officials in the scorer’s box.
It is believed the main point of conjecture is the tone and language used by Trappel.
The 30-year-old has been accused of swearing and being aggressive, with the judiciary referring to clause 22 in the NDCA code of conduct.
McInnes said there was “conflicting evidence” but “understood the protocols” and hoped to lessen the “severity” of the charge.
Now, depending on the outcome of any potential appeal, Trappel faces an extended stint on the sidelines and appears unlikely to help the reigning champions reclaim the two-day crown.
Trappel and NDCA chairman Paul Marjoribanks both declined to comment.
This adds to an already drama-charged final round with only 10 points separating teams from fourth to ninth on the ladder.
Hamwicks (55), just inside the top four, are away to last-placed Cardiff-Boolaroo and must win to keep at bay University (54), City (51) and Wallsend (50). Respectively the challengers tackle leaders Wests, wooden spoon contenders Waratah-Mayfield and last year’s runner-up Belmont (46). Elsewhere, Toronto (45) host Merewether and Charlestown travel to Stockton.
LADDER: Wests 75, Merewether 74, Charlestown 60, Hamwicks 55, University 54, City 51, Wallsend 50, Belmont 46, Toronto 45, Stockton 28, Waratah 23, Cardiff 22.