Rule changes prompt three clubs to quit junior league

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THREE clubs have withdrawn from the Bramleys Halifax Junior League as a result of new rules brought in at this week’s annual meeting at Blackley CC.

Clubs who play their senior cricket in other leagues have been put on the spot in a test of commitment and Huddersfield League pair Elland and Rastrick and Central Yorkshire League club Buttershaw St Paul’s will not field teams in the league this summer.

However, junior league official Neil Myers said Illingworth (Aire/Wharfe), Barkisland (Huddersfield) and Northowram Fields (Central Yorkshire) had accepted the changes and would continue to play in the league while negotiations with Great Horton Church (Bradford Sunday School) and Upper Hopton (Huddersfield Central) were ongoing.

From now on, clubs playing in the so called out of town leagues will have to enter their entire junior section in the Halifax Junior League rather than just one or two of their teams.

Also, players registered in the league have to be available to play representative cricket for Halifax, rather than another area.

The changes, which Myers said had been passed by a substantial majority, are aimed at protecting the interests of a league which has become a victim of its own success.

Officials are delighted that junior cricket in the area is flourishing but dismayed at the extra workload and expense that it has brought along with it.

Last year’s sudden death of Keith Goulden, who did a great deal of the administrative work, was a major blow and the increasing cost of fielding representative teams and trophies has led to the league reporting losses for the last two years.

There has been a feeling that some out of town clubs have used the Halifax Junior League for their own ends and contributed little to its running.

Chairman Howard Cooper and Myers have recently visited affected clubs who wished to discuss their concerns about the proposals which have now been passed.

Myers said that some minor concessions were being made in the short term as clubs adapted to the new regulations.

CALDERDALE pair Lightcliffe and Brighouse are not taking part in this year’s Bradford League Dyson Insulations Twenty/20 Cup.

DRAW - first round (Sunday June 10 to Tuesday June 12): Yeadon v Baildon, Farsley v East Bierley, Morley v Pudsey St Lawrence, Woodlands v Undercliffe, Bankfoot v Gomersal, Pudsey Congs v Hanging Heaton. Byes: Bradford & Bingley, Hartshead Moor.

Christine Haigh (nee Drake), who along with her husband James Haigh MBE have sponsored the Drakes Huddersfield League since 1991, has died. She lived at Barkisland and was formerly chairman of F Drake and Co of Golcar.

TODMORDEN plan to be busy in their build-up to the Lancashire League season, starting with matches at Blackpool on Sunday, April 8 and St Annes on Monday, April 9.

They plan to host Huddersfield pair Thongsbridge and Honley on the weekend of April 14 and 15 and neighbours Walsden at Central Vale Park on April 21.