Following my posting last month, 'Whither Wetherby', in which I described the possible loss of four clubs this winter from The Wetherby League I was alerted to similar problems being faced by The Huddersfield Central League. Sure enough 'google' turned up an article from The Huddersfield Examiner dated August 14th listing five clubs who will play their cricket elsewhere in 2015.
Leaving for The Halifax, the league that gives you extra, are Upper Hopton whose acceptance into their new home was confirmed in July. Crossbank Methodists, who had made representations to The Central Yorkshire League as far back as March 2013 have now satisfied CYL Management that they are fit and proper persons and they will be joined in their new league by Great Preston, one of the clubs leaving The Wetherby League. The third and fourth clubs quitting HCCL, Woolley and Silkstone, have both been accepted into The South Yorkshire League and the fifth, Crigglestone CC, have joined The Pontefract League.
These changes would be bad enough news for HCCL but things are worse than they seem for they come on top of the departure of four clubs at the end of the 2013 season when Birkby Rose Hill, Upperthong (pictured below), Cartworth Moor, and Thurstonland all left for The Huddersfield League where they joined Almonbury Wesleyans, Denby, Denby Dale and Moorlands who had made the same journey a year before. All of which means that The HCCL may find itself with just three divisions next season instead of its present four and it is unlikely that this year's departures will mark the end of the league's downsizing for the minutes of its Mangagement Board Meeting held in September record a request by Heckmondwike and Carlinghow CC to secure early release. This was refused but presumably this will only delay their departure for twelve months. A full league and management board meeting is being held at Flockton tomorrow evening where it seems reasonable to assume these matters will be discussed.
As a footnote the four clubs who switched between the two Huddersfield Leagues for 2014 had mixed fortunes. All played in the third (Conference) tier of their new home with Thurstonland faring best finishing fifth (of twelve), Cartworth Moor were seventh, Upperthong tenth and Birkby Rose Hill just avoided the wooden spoon, finishing one place above bottom club Paddock.