Laund Hill men exit Halifax League

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Augustinians’ 17-season stay in the Foster’s Halifax League is over after it was confirmed that they would not be allowed to apply for re-election next month.

The strugglers have lost their ground at the Huddersfield YMCA complex at Laund Hill, which looks set to be used for football, and have been unable to find a suitable alternative for next season before the end of September deadline.

Their late bid to use the former Halifax CC ground at Park Lane school has failed.

Halifax League secretary Neil Myers said there were issues over the lease of the Exley pitch and league chiefs had ruled that it would not be of sufficient standard anyway, having not been used for cricket since 2009.

Augustinians, who were founded in 1967 from St Augustine’s Voluntary School at Bradley Bar, started life in the Huddersfield Association.

They joined the Halifax League in 1997 and have run three teams, enjoying must success with their thirds who were Sunday Section champions last year.

However, their Saturday sides have struggled. They finished bottom of Section A in 2002 - their only one in the top flight - and they have repeatedly failed to field full teams this season, leading to big points deductions.

Those deductions left Augustinians firsts in the bottom two in Division Two with Denholme Clough.

League chiefs had already stated that due to the club’s transgressions this year they would have put them up for re-election even if they had finished outside the bottom two.

Myers said: “We have sympathy for Augustinians but we feel we are acting in the best interests of the Halifax League.”

Augustinians secretary Chris Pillai said the club hoped to carry on and re-apply to the Halifax League in the future.

If Denholme Clough are re-elected at the AGM on November 19 the league will again have 30 clubs playing in the Saturday leagues in 2014 as Cullingworth are joining from the Craven League.

The Halifax League has an application from Upper Hopton from 2015.