SIMMERING ill feeling between cricket teams from Oswestry and Whitchurch erupted into violence and caused the game to be abandoned on Saturday afternoon.

Reports say that one Whitchurch Third team player was butted by an Oswestry player who was acting as umpire. There are counter-claims insisting he acted in self-defence after being grabbed by the jacket.

More players joined in the fracas and the police were called.

Although neither club is making any official comment, the incident is sure to be taken seriously by the league which has asked for reports from both sides.

Reports said that on an already hot day, things came to the boil when one of the openers was given not out from a ‘catch’ which the independent umpire deemed to be a ‘bump ball.’

One Oswestry player said he had never seen anything like it on the cricket field and arose out of bad blood between the sides going back several seasons.

Oswestry were fielding several young players who had seen their side establish a dominant 128 for no wicket off 17 overs.

By the time three police squad cars arrived at the Oswestry School ground, the incident had been sorted out, but Whitchurch skipper Iain Marsh declined to continue the game.

One Oswestry player said it had left a sour taste. “I just cannot believe what was going on. I have never seen anything like that on a cricket pitch in my life,” he said.

“We sorted it out and the police went away, no-one got arrested but the match was abandoned,” he said.

l Mike Robinson, club captain at Oswestry said that the league had asked for comments and the club had asked the vice-captain of the third team to prepare a report for a club meeting on Tuesday night.

Liam O’Neill, treasurer at Whitchurch confirmed an incident had taken place but it would be unwise to make any comment at this stage.

No-one from Oswestry police was available for comment.