Rugby League: Ovenden pull out of National Conference League

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Ovenden have withdrawn from the National Conference League with immediate effect.

The Halifax-based side were set to take their place in Division Two this season but have now pulled out citing a lack of players and finance.

“We’re obviously disappointed to lose one of our clubs,” said NCL President Peter Moran.

“It’s tough for the clubs and the travel is one of the major burdens, but the NCL is the fourth Tier of the Rugby League pyramid, the tier that provides the testing ground and the stepping stone for aspiring clubs such as Coventry Bears to try and prepare themselves for the leap to being a professional entity.

“We wish them well for the future, whilst ensuring that they will be welcome back should they be capable of re-applying in the future.”

The NCL Management Committee also confirmed that adding replacement would be highly unlikely, despite Dewsbury Moor re-joining only last week to replace Peterlee Pumas.

Ovenden’s withdrawal leaves Elland and Siddal as Calderdale’s sole representatives at the top of the amateur game.

Ovenden’s options are now limited, although the newly-formed summer West Yorkshire Mens League, which has already attracted Pennine League rebels Brighouse, Halifax Irish and Illingworth, is one possibility.

The club’s second team are currently flying high in Division Five of the Pennine League.