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Hertfordshire Mavericks Announcement Regarding Manchester Thunder Match Abandonment

15th April 2016

On 2nd April, Hertfordshire Mavericks travelled to Manchester to face Thunder in Round 11 of the Vitality Netball SuperLeague.  Due to an unfit playing surface, the match was at first delayed and then ultimately abandoned.  This decision was made by the Umpires and the General Manager of the VNSL.  Statements were provided by both teams to the VNSL Operational Committee.  The Committee concluded the following:

·         Manchester Thunder, as per Section B 4.18.1 were in breach of
their franchise obligation’s by not providing a venue that was fit for
purpose, due to water of the field of play, caused by a drip that created a
health and safety concern to all players and match officials.

·         The solution to address the issue was not appropriate and the
decision to abandon the game was justified as player and official safety was
potentially compromised.

·         As the issue had been known much earlier in the day, Manchester
Thunder should have communicated this issue with the Match Officials and
Hertfordshire Mavericks upon their arrival, so that earlier action could
have been discussed. Despite contradicting accounts, it is clear that the
issue was not communicated until around 4.40pm. Earlier communication would
have provided more time to address the situation and also for issues like
this, the VNSL General Manager should have been contacted as well once the
issue was known.

·         All parties have suffered significant financial costs as a result
of this issue, including travel costs, loss of income and costs for hosting
a live stream of the match

Manchester Thunder were duly fined £1000 for an unfit playing venue and for failure to notify either Hertfordshire Mavericks or the VNSL General Manager of the issue that was known about considerably earlier in the day.  

 As announced by England Netball earlier today the match will now be replayed on 25th April at Manchester Thunder’s home venue.  Hertfordshire Mavericks had appealed the fact that the match should be replayed in Manchester due to the excessive additional travel required and the lack of recovery time for the players given the matches that still remain. We are disappointed to be the only team in the top four having to make an additional away journey even though we were found not to be at fault. However, we accept the findings of the panel and are now focused on preparation for this and our remaining matches.  We appreciate the patience and support our fans have shown during this time.