Four clubs join Halifax League

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The make-up of the Spenser Wilson Halifax Cricket League for 2017 moved a step closer being decided last night when it was revealed that four former members of the disbanded Huddersfield Central League would be joining.

The results of an electronic vote by member clubs were revealed at the league’s AGM at Pellon Social Club and the quartet’s applications were all successful.

Birchencliffe got in by a vote of 29-0, Bradley & Colnebridge by 22-7, Leymoor by 25-4 and Mount by 19-10.

The Halifax League’s executive had recommended that the clubs be accepted and chairman Anthony Briggs was pleased with the outcome.

The switch of Illingworth St Mary’s from the Aire/Wharfe League has been offset by the loss of Old Crossleyans, who have folded.

That leaves 34 clubs but last year’s Division Two champions Denholme Clough are looking for a new ground, having lost theirs.

Greetland and Bradley & Colnebridge have only one team each and it has been suggested that they should ‘share’ a set of fixtures in Division Two. Two other clubs may struggle to field second teams.

Focus now switches to the Drakes Huddersfield League AGM on December 14 when seven other former Huddersfield Central League clubs will try to find a new league.

The Halifax League had previously offered to try to accommodate all the Central League clubs before the Drakes League intervened.

Meanwhile, the Halifax League has a new secretary in Tim Helliwell, the chairman and former opening batsman at Sowerby Bridge CC.

The well-respected Helliwell takes over from Low Moor’s Alan Ford, who has been doing the job on a stop-gap basis after Queensbury’s Neil Myers stepped down.

Briggs said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Tim to the league executive as he brings a wealth of cricketing experience, knowledge and new ideas.”

Several rule changes were passes, including one which attempts to help clarify when umpires should allow play to take place in poor weather.

Start times for the cup finals have been brought forward to 1pm.

Saturday league sides will get two points for abandoned matches with no play due to inclement weather.

When a match starts but is then abandoned, teams will get two points plus the bonus points they have accrued.

President David Normanton told club representatives that 2016 had been fraught with problems for the executive, starting with the floods, and that the year “couldn’t end soon enough.”

He added: “We have been tested to the limit and from lots of angles.”

Treasurer Bob Airey, in his 13th annual report, announced a profit of £443 and net current assets of £10,631. It means club subscriptions for 2017 are unchanged.