Four Halifax League clubs struggling

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Four Spenser Wilson Halifax Cricket League clubs are struggling to raise teams for the 2018 season.

They have not been named but the revelation adds to worries over decreasing participation not only in Calderdale cricket but sport as a whole.

The news was announced by league secretary Tim Helliwell at last night’s league AGM, which had to be hastily switched to Copley CC when club delegates arrived at Pellon Club to find the meeting room already in use.

Red faced league chiefs admitted they had failed to book the room and offered a free drink to those who made the trip across town.

When the meeting got under way half an hour late, Helliwell said: “The executive is in discussion with four clubs concerned about their ability to enter teams for next year.

“Discussions have been going on for a few weeks. We think we can resolve the issues and everything should become clear by the end of November.

“The clubs involved want to keep discussions confidential for the moment.”

Helliwell said an announcement would be made soon about which teams would be playing in which divisions next year, with the fixtures to follow.

He appealed for any other clubs who might be concerned about not being able to field the same number of teams as last year to let officials know “as a matter of urgency.”

Birchencliffe CC’s demised means there will already be one club less. Upper Hopton’s re-election application was accepted by a 24-0 vote.

The struggle to raised teams was also reflected on the balance sheet.

Long-serving treasurer Bob Airey revealed that 11 fines of £50 had been imposed, according to league rules, for non-fulfilment of a fixture in 2017.

The league made a profit of £1,150 but is looking for sponsors for its Crossley Shield and Rod Warhurst Sunday Cup competitions.

League chiefs were delighted to announce they had found a new results secretary for Saturday matches to replace the retiring Peter Taylor. Andrew Rawnsley, a serving umpire, may also take on the Sunday role in due course.

Bradshaw were re-elected to the Sunday League and Booth’s application to rejoin was approved.

Applicants Slaithwaite will be asked to provide a written presentation while South Halifax Academy have indicated they would like to continue playing friendly fixtures against Sunday teams.

Airey said around 220 people were expected to attend the league’s annual dinner at The Venue, Barkisland on Friday week.