Latecomers boost junior league

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A late influx of entries for this summer’s Halifax Junior League has left Peter Taylor a relieved man.

A new, later April 1 deadline was introduced this year to help clubs gauge more accurately how many teams they could field.

The hope was that this would to lead to fewer fixture problems due to late withdrawals.

Taylor, who draws up the fixtures, was concerned last Monday morning when he had only 71 teams entered across the age groups compared to 93 last year.

However, that figure had swollen to 85 by the start of the month, making him feel much happier about the state of junior cricket in the area.

The teams are broken down to 16 in the under nines, 22 in the under 11s, 19 in the under 13s, 12 in the under 15s and 16 in the under 17s.

While the number of under nines teams is growing, Taylor is concerned by the drop off in the number of under 15 teams.

“I don’t know what has happened - this is the lowest since I started doing the fixtures five years ago,” he said.

Cricket, like other sports, has been hit by declining participation levels.

Taylor thinks the cost of training coaches is too much for clubs and individuals and that is one area the sport could look at in its efforts to reverse the downward trend.

There is a meeting for the junior co-ordinators of all clubs at Blackley CC on Wednesday, April 8 (7.30) when the junior fixtures for 2015 should be available.