Four Huddersfield Central League clubs have been accepted into the Spenser Wilson Halifax League for next season.
With the Central League set to fold at next week’s annual meeting, Birchencliffe, Bradley & Colnebridge, Leymoor and Mount will now play in the Calderdale set-up.
Originally, the Central League voted as a whole to move to Halifax, where they would have been part of a Huddersfield Central Conference within that league, but some clubs broke away and applied to join the Drakes League.
Now, the Drakes are faced with accommodating seven clubs from the Central, only five of which have two teams.
Drakes clubs have been called to a special meeting at Almondbury CC on November 23 (a day after the Central League annual meeting) to discuss the issue, along with a major shortage of umpires for next summer.
It seems increasingly likely the Central clubs will be integrated into re-jigged Drakes second XI competitions, but clubs will have the final say.
Illingworth St Mary’s are also joining Halifax, so providing Denholme Clough solve their ground problem, the Saturday section in Calderdale will be 34 clubs (with an additional six clubs from other leagues competing in the Sunday League).
As Bradley & Colne have only one team, their placement in the Halifax League will depend on Denholme Clough’s situation (plus that of two other clubs who may be struggling to field two teams).
Halifax League PR and Media Officer Paul Whiteley told their council meeting: “As previously reported, there was an unfortunate breakaway of a number of clubs after our agreement to accommodate all Central League clubs in a specific Huddersfield Central Conference within our League.
“It is more than pleasing therefore that the four clubs, and indeed Illingworth St Mary’s, have opted to join the foremost amateur cricket league in the region.”
Tim Helliwell, chairman of Sowerby Bridge CC, has been appointed secretary of the Halifax League.
Chairman Anthony Briggs commented: ‘We are delighted to welcome Tim to the League Executive as he brings a wealth of cricketing experience, knowledge and new ideas.
“This appointment will help to consolidate our position as the foremost amateur league in West Yorkshire and shape the future of our great game over the coming months and years.
“He is a very well known, respected and popular figure throughout the League and recently played an instrumental role in helping guide his beloved club successfully through difficult times, following the devastation caused after the terrible Calder Valley floods.
“We strongly believe he will be a brilliant addition to our loyal and dedicated Executive team.”