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End of the line for Halifax League club
The Foster’s Halifax League could still have only 30 clubs next season – despite Cullingworth joining from the Craven League.
The loss of Augustinians, who have no ground, means that the number will stay the same, even allowing for Denholme Clough being re-elected at the league’s annual meeting on November 19.
Augustinians were the other club having to apply for re-election but, as they have lost their ground at Huddersfield YMCA and found no alternative by the deadline of the end of September, the league have told them they will not be allowed back in.
League members since 1996, Augustinians made a late bid to use the former Halifax Cricket Club ground at Park Lane School but it failed.
Halifax League secretary Neil Myers said there were issues over the lease of the Exley pitch and league chiefs had ruled that it would not be of sufficient standard anyway, having not been used for cricket since 2009.
Augustinians, who were founded in 1967 from St Augustine’s Voluntary School at Bradley Bar, started life in the Huddersfield Association.
They have run three teams in the Halifax League, enjoying most success with their thirds, who were Sunday Section champions last year.
But their Saturday sides have struggled. They finished bottom of Section A in 2002 – their only season in the top flight – and repeatedly failed to field full teams this summer, leading to big points deductions.
Those penalties left Augustinians firsts in the bottom two in Division Two with Denholme Clough.
League chiefs had already stated that, due to the club’s transgressions this year, they would have put them up for re-election even if they had finished outside the bottom two.
Myers said: “We have sympathy for Augustinians but we feel we are acting in the best interests of the Halifax League.”
Augustinians secretary Chris Pillai said the club hoped to carry on and reapply to the Halifax League in the future.
The Halifax League have an application from Upper Hopton, of the Huddersfield Central League, for 2015.