CATTISTOCK & Symene look set to be dropped four divisions for the 2024 season after proposed new tiers for the Dorset Cricket League were released to clubs.

The Foxes finished ninth of ten teams in the Wessex Internet Dorset Premier League last season, normally good enough to avoid relegation.

However, with the DCL moving towards the ECB Premier League model, a huge shake-up has taken place across the county’s divisions.

There are now nine tiers, up one from eight in 2023, including new Premier One and Two divisions at the top of the Dorset pyramid containing six teams apiece.

READ MORE: Cattistock & Symene sign off 2023 with winless weekend

The league has also reverted to a regionalised bottom tier, last seen in 2021, with County Division Six being split into East and West tiers.

Clubs must also meet certain criteria in important areas including, but not limited to, ground grading and youth systems, affecting their ranking in the league system.

While there is no suggestion Cattistock & Symene have fallen short of the requirements, two new Symene Sports teams have formed.

Their new first team will compete in County Division Three, with their seconds in the remodelled County Division Six West.

It means both Cattistock & Symene and Symene Sports will compete against each other in what is effectively Dorset’s fifth tier in 2024, making for a spicy match-up.

Speaking to the Bridport News, 2023 Cattistock & Symene skipper Steve Tucker voiced his displeasure with the Foxes’ relegation.

He said: “We, as a club, are very disappointed in the decision to be placed in such a low league having never officially been relegated from the Premier League.”

The Bridport News further understands league officials took the proposed squad strengths of both Cattistock & Symene and Symene Sports into account before placing them in the same division.

League chiefs also considered a range of other factors before making the decision.

The development confirms Cattistock & Symene Seconds and Thirds have not been entered into the 2024 competition.

Proposed County Division Three line-up: Abbotsbury, Ashmore, Cattistock & Symene, Kingston Lacy, Poole Town III, Shillingstone, Symene Sports, Wimborne III, Winton, Witchampton II.