Drakes League officials still have no final idea how many Central League clubs they will have to accommodate next summer.
The Solly Sports-sponsored Central League will definitely fold at their annual meeting next month.
They started this summer with 16 clubs but two of those, Higham and Green Moor, have been accepted into the South Yorkshire League for 2017.
Four more – champions Mount, Leymoor, Birchencliffe and Bradley & Colne – have made applications to the Spenser Wilson Halifax League which the Calderdale executive have recommended are accepted, especially as their grounds have passed assessment.
Of the remaining 10 clubs, seven now appear headed for the Drakes – Cartworth Moor and Augustinians (who have only one team each), Almondburians, Edgerton & Dalton, Nortonthorpe, Holmbridge and Flockton – while Denby Grange have applied to join the Pontefract League.
That leaves Horbury Bridge and Calder Grove still to make decisions, although the grapevine suggests Pontefract rather than Huddersfield may get their nod.
Until the final numbers are known, Drakes officials can’t recommend to their existing 38 member clubs how best to proceed.
Would a separate ‘associate’ competition fit the bill, or would the original suggestion of incorporating the Central clubs into a revamped Drakes second XI format be more appropriate?
The Halifax League put together an excellent proposal to take all the Central League clubs which was originally accepted, until a split of clubs approached the Drakes.
Then the Halifax and Drakes Leagues agreed to work together to find a solution for housing clubs, but those talks broke down when the Drakes pulled the plug.
Despite offering a home to any Central clubs who wished to play under the Drakes umbrella, they’ve come in for criticism from the Yorkshire Cricket Board.
Andrew Watson of the YCB wrote to the Halifax League on behalf of the new Yorkshire pyramid board to say they were “saddened and disappointed that the negotiations had collapsed following all your hard work and preparation.
“We place on record our grateful thanks to you and to the Halifax League on behalf of the wider cricket circles within West Yorkshire”.
The Halifax League, meanwhile, are considering options to allow clubs to operate with one team.
Greetland and Old Town are seeking re-election, while two clubs have stated they may not be able to compete in 2017 – Denholme Clough and Old Crossleyans.
Denholme Clough have been informed by their landlord that they must vacate the land on which the club is located unless they can pay a new monthly rent of hundreds of pounds, which the club will not be able to pay, although discussions on this are currently under way.
Old Crossleyans struggled on many occasions to raise two full teams on a Saturday this season and are currently discussing options on how to proceed – but have warned the Halifax League they are currently discussing the whole future of the cricket club.
Meanwhile, the Sellers Huddersfield Junior League have a meeting for all clubs in the Under 9, Under 11 and Under 13 sections at Kirkheaton Cricket Club tonight.
It’s a 7.30 start and various matters will be discussed, including the need for a new Under 9 secretary to run that section of the league.