Padiham win reprieve in league shake-up after new proposals

PADIHAM CC V CLITHEROE CC: Padiham's Callum Clarke faces the bowling of Josh Marquet.'Photo Ben Parsons
PADIHAM CC V CLITHEROE CC: Padiham's Callum Clarke faces the bowling of Josh Marquet.'Photo Ben Parsons

Padiham Cricket Club have earned a reprieve after the Ribblesdale Cricket League voted on a new make-up for the Senior Division at their AGM on Monday night.

The Arbories side finished bottom of the Senior Division this season, and were in danger of being relegated to the First Division, along with Cherry Tree.

But under new proposals, both clubs will stay in the Senior Division - albeit in Division B of a new two-tier system.

The successful proposal was that, for the 2014 season and subsequent years, the Senior League will be divided into two divisions, with promotion and relegation between Division A and B.

The top nine teams from the 2013 season - champions Clitheroe, Barnoldswick, Settle, Read, Oswaldtwistle Immanuel, Baxenden, Ribblesdale Wanderers, Whalley, Great Harwood - will make up Division A.

The bottom seven - Brooksbottom, Edenfield, Salesbury, Earby, Euxton, Cherry Tree and Padiham - will be joined by First Division champions Brinscall in Division B.

In the 2014 season, clubs in Division A will play each other twice, but will also play all teams from Division B once, and vice versa.

At the end of the 2014 season, and in subsequent years, there will be promotion and relegation between Division A and B, with the top two teams in Division B swapping places with the bottom two teams in Division A.

The bottom two teams in Division B will have to apply for re-election to the league as has been the norm.

That proposal won favour, rather than a geographical split, with the top four teams in each division, and winners of a fifth-place play-off, forming the new Division A.

Padiham skipper Callum Clarke was a relieved man: “We had to wait all night for the outcome of the vote, but in the end we got what we felt should happen.

“It’s a new start and it’s onwards and upwards now - we can look to engage a professional and we know where we stand now.

“Hopefully what happened last season won’t happen again - like what happens in football, we got into the bottom three and we panicked and couldn’t get clear.

“It’s all to play for now, with promotion and relegation, and there will be less games, with fewer Sunday games, so hopefully that means we will be able to field stronger sides now.

“We’ve managed to keep the team together, and now it’s a case of trying to add some more quality and see how we go.”

Padiham will celebrate on Saturday, with a club day out planned at Burnley’s Championship game at Huddersfield.