Birregurra cricket president Luke Hutchinson says a lack of top-grade talent forced the Saints to pull their side from the Division One competition on the eve of the season.
The club was preparing to enter the 2019-20 campaign without a host of key players from its squad, which notched up just five wins last summer.
Gun all-rounder and skipper James Rowan had already opted to take the season off and new work commitments were set to limit experienced batsman Leighton Hart’s availability in 2019-20.
But rising star Harry Jarvis’s decision to join Winchelsea in the Bellarine league and the club’s failed attempt to recruit an overseas player prompted Saints officials to step back from Division One.
Hutchinson said the club didn’t want to rely on veterans such as himself and Dean Mahoney to make up the Division One squad, while promising juniors like Hugh Jarvis, Gabe Hanlon, back stress fracture, and Lochlan Hart, knee reconstruction, are either recovering from injury or not yet ready for top flight competition.
“It’s the last thing we wanted to do, but we lost Harry Jarvis on the weekend after he confirmed he was going to Winchelsea,” Mr Hutchinson said.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.