Birchencliffe resign from league

Birchencliffe Cricket Club, Huddersfield.
Birchencliffe Cricket Club, Huddersfield.

Birchencliffe CC have resigned from the Spenser Wilson Halifax Cricket League after just one season.

The news was announced by league secretary Tim Helliwell at last night’s October meeting at Pellon Club but doesn’t come as a major surprise.

The former Huddersfield Central League club had become embroiled in a dispute with co-tenants Lindley Swifts RLFC, who are switching to summer rugby at the ground in 2018.

Birchencliffe were unable to play on their ground from the middle of the latest season and disbanded their second team.

The firsts continued through to the end of the season in the hope of re-grouping and Bradley and Colnebridge hosted matches for them, but they had to cancel their last two games

Helliwell said: “Birchencliffe have now written to me resigning from the league – a sad day for a club that has been around for many, many years but also for cricket in general.”

Upper Hopton, the other club in the bottom two in Division Two, have applied for re-election.

Helliwell has just completed his first 12 months as secretary and admitted it had been a demanding year for league officials.

Despite all the issues we have had all had to face it is still fantastic to see so many people still playing, watching and enjoying our great game.”

He said congratulations were in order to all clubs “for keeping the game alive when facing so many challenges around player availability.”

Some matches had been conceded and teams had taken to the field with less than 11 players but individuals at clubs had rallied the troops and helped preserve the integrity of the league.

He said the clubs who were riding high were doing so because of their efforts over juniors, coaches, player recruitment and positive energy around the club.

Helliwell added a warning: “Beware - a club only has to stop doing these things and problems will emerge.”

Sowerby Bridge CC’s Helliwell hopes clubs will make greater use of the junior player loan scheme next year and revealed that the league hoped to feature live scoring on the league website in 2019.

The 2018 season is due to start on April 21 and will end on the weekend of September 15/16.

Sunday League secretary Gordon Akroyd said Bradshaw were keen to revive their third team, which folded during the latest season, and Slaithwaite had applied to join and had a good set-up.

League chairman Anthony Briggs closed the meeting by paying tribute to retiring Peter Taylor, fixture secretary since 2009, for his outstanding efforts in various roles.

The league AGM is on November 14 and the annual dinner at The Venue, Barkisland on November 24.