Cricket: All change in the South Yorkshire League after merger with Alliance

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South Yorkshire Cricket League clubs voted to welcome former members of the South Yorkshire Cricket Alliance into their fold, at their AGM last Thursday.

The new league will now have 56 clubs and 108 teams and will be organised into nine divisions, with the lower six divisions split on a geographical basis (East and West) to make travel easier.

The merger came at the request of the Alliance which had been struggling to survive within the changing social and economic climate.

Over the last few years, several smaller clubs have folded as players have drifted away from the game and facilities have deteriorated through cuts to councils’ parks and recreation budgets.

It is hoped that the experience and resolve of the highly successful South Yorkshire League will help clubs raise standards and improve the structures needed to survive.

Key to this is providing a positive playing experience with good facilities, high standards of umpiring and scoring and good player discipline. Successful clubs attract players and their families with well-run junior sections, and plenty of opportunities for playing, coaching and volunteering.

All the new clubs will be expected to meet the standards of the South Yorkshire League within a reasonable timeframe, including working towards and obtaining Clubmark status and the provision of club umpires.

All clubs must have at least two senior teams and a junior section fielding at least two teams in approved junior cricket.

Any club will not be allowed to progress above Division Four until these, and other League Standards, are met - but the league will actively work with them to help them achieve this.

South Yorkshire League Chairman Terry Bentham said: “We passionately believe we have a duty to our clubs but also have a duty to try and preserve the game in South Yorkshire.”

n New structure, Division Three, East teams: Conisbrough B, Darfield B, Doncaster Town B, Maltby MW, Penistone, Sheffield United B, Tickhill B, Treeton B, Upper Haugh B, Whiston PC B, Wombwell Main, Worsbrough Bridge.

n Division Three, West: Barnsley C, Bradfield VF B, Coal Aston B, Millhouses Works B, Oughtibridge B, Penistone B, Sheffield Collegiate C, Silkstone United, Thorncliffe B, Thorpe Hesley & HG, Woolley MW, Worsbrough Bridge B.

n Division Four, East: Adwick-le-Street, Dearne, Doncaster Town C, Eden Grove Parklands, Houghton Main B, Maltby MW B, ,Mexborough Athletic Sprotbrough B, Warmsworth B, Wentworth, Whiston Forge, Wombwell Main B.

n Division Four, West: Caribbean Sports, Frecheville Comm B, Harley, Kexborough B, Norton Oakes B, Rockingham Colliery B, Rotherham Phoenix B, Rotherham Town C, Shiregreen B, Silkstone United B, Thorpe Hesley & HG B, Woolley MW B.

n Division Five, East: Adwick on Dearne, Adwick-le-Street B, Brodsworth Main C, Brookhouse B, Doncaster Town D, Eden Grove Park B, Hampole & Skelbrooke, Handsworth, Harworth Colliery, Hatfield Main, Scholes, Tinsley.

n Division Five, West: Brookhouse, Caribbean Sports B, Handsworth B, Mexborough Athletic B, Scholes B, Shiregreen C, Treeton C, Wath C, Whiston Forge B, Whitley Hall Colts, Wickersley OV C.