Buttershaw join Sunday League

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Buttershaw St Paul’s have joined the Halifax Sunday League for the 2018 season and Augustinians are keen to return to the Saturday competition in 2019.

Buttershaw will play in Division Three this year after Halifax League clubs voted 19-8 in favour of their admission at last night’s league meeting at Pellon Social Club.

The Bradford League club had originally hoped to enter their third team in the 2019 competition but have been fast-tracked in a year early to provide a 10th team in the lower section and aid the fixture list.

Their spokesman Ian Gregson told club representatives that the club intended to field plenty of young players and would treat it as a social side.

The vote might have been more emphatic but for concerns over the South Halifax Academy side, a team made up largely of young players from Copley and Blackley, who played nine friendly matches last season against Halifax Sunday League sides who had a bye date.

It was suggested that the Academy side might be able to play sides from the Saturday Division Two second teams’ competition. There are plenty of gaps in that section’s fixtures list.

League secretary Tim Helliwell revealed that Augustinians, league members from 1997 to 2013, had applied to rejoin.

Augustinians lost their previous ground at the Huddersfield YMCA RUFC’s Laund Hill complex and now have a new ground at Woodhouse Playing Fields in Rastrick.

They have been playing in the Dewsbury and District League and last summer they opened a pavilion in honour of John F Harold, a founder member of the club in 1967.

Augustinians’ pitch has got the thumbs up from the Halifax League’s ground inspection team and club representatives will be invited to present a case for the club’s inclusion next year at the April 3 meeting.

The West Yorkshire Area Council Knockout Cup, won by the Halifax League last year, has been scrapped because only three leagues wanted to take part in 2018.

Instead, the Halifax League team will play the Scarborough Beckett League at the county ground on the east coast on Sunday, June 17.

The select side will also play a Twenty/20 match against a Yorkshire CCC XI on Thursday, July 19. The match will be at Sowerby Bridge CC, where work on the clubhouse and ground following the Boxing Day floods of 2015 has finally been completed.

Five suppliers are keen to provide Halifax League match balls from the 2019 season and some will be trialled for four weeks in middle section matches this season. The current supplier is Dukes.

League chiefs have decided to continue to allow bowlers two warnings for deliveries above waist height before they are removed from the attack. A recent changed introduced by the MCC to one warning is optional.

The league is still looking for a player liaison officer to join the executive and a sponsor for the Crossley Shield final.

There was a renewed appeal for clubs to supplement umpire numbers by putting forward the name of someone who could officiate three or four times a season.

The draw for the groups of the Halifax Sunday League’s Rod Warhurst Cup competition, which involves sides from the top two sections, was made.

Teams in each group play each other with the side finishing top in each section going forward to the semi-finals.

Group A: Sowerby Bridge, Barkisland, Illingworth SM, Lightcliffe.

Group B: Almondbury Wesleyans, Rastrick, Luddenden Foot, Northowram Fields.

Group C: Blackley, Norden, Copley, Bridgeholme.

Group D: Mytholmroyd, Triangle, SBCI, Thornton.