DRAKES Premiership side Shelley have had all their points deducted and been hit with a heavy fine.
The Drakes League’s Executive deducted them six points for playing three unregistered players in their opening game against Holmfirth, on April 26.
They were also fined £60 (£20 for each offence) for playing three ineligible players and a further £60 for irregularities in the registration form they presented to the League secretary.
And that leaves Shelley now pointless at the foot of the Premiership, having lost the six points they managed to accrue from last week’s win over Meltham.
It’s a blow for the Westerley Lane club who, having finished third in the Drakes Premiership in 2007, lost several players during the close season and have struggled for personnel this time.
Having earlier bowed out of the Sykes Cup (losing to Micklehurst) they also crashed out of the Heavy Woollen Cup last Sunday, when they went down by 47 runs in a derby game at Clayton West.
Batting first, Clayton made 173 with Stuart Rank top-scoring with 40, backed up by Paul van den Berg (39) and Nick Sharp (35), although they were hampered by three run outs.
However, Shelley struggled in reply, with only Ranjit Bandadula-Don (35) offering much as Van den Berg ripped them open with six for 31, while new boy Pepler Sandri and Jonny Butterfield each took two wickets to dismiss them for 126.
Shelley can still boast the talents of brilliant Sri Lankan Muthu Pushpakumara and Matt Friedlander, but a lot is going to rest on their shoulders this summer.
All-rounder Darren Lockwood is currently spearheading Hoylandswaine’s drive to the top of the Central League – and will also be in Sykes Cup action against Micklehurst on Sunday (having put out Linthwaite in the opening round), while Shelley’s former skipper Graeme Hurlbatt is currently leading Broad Oak’s Conference promotion hopes.
Hurlbatt’s side have a difficult task this Sunday, however, when they entertain Delph & Dobcross in the second round of the Romida knockout.
Slaithwaite – conquerors of Cup holders Skelmanthorpe in the first round – entertain Lascelles Hall in what might be a close contest at Hill Top, while another of the round’s fascinating ties takes Elland to newly-promoted and rejuvenated Clayton West.
The full second round draw is:
Broad Oak v Delph & Dobcross, Clayton West v Elland, Hall Bower v Shepley, Hoylandswaine v Micklehurst, Kirkburton v Golcar, Meltham v Barkisland, Slaithwaite v Lascelles Hall, Thongsbridge v Kirkheaton.
Paddock Shield: Hoylandswaine v Kexborough, Delph & Dobcross v Skelmanthorpe, Shepley v Clayton West, Marsden v Honley, Barkisland v Primrose Hill, Elland v Rastrick, Lascelles Hall v Slaithwaite, Kirkheaton v Meltham.