THERE is little doubt that the Spenser Wilson Halifax League is well organised and is a force for good - as witnessed by the crop of awards it gained at county and national level via the YCB and ECB.

However, league secretary Tim Helliwell could not ignore disciplinary issues in his report to the league's annual meeting at Pellon Social Club.

He wrote: "The season began in good weather but unfortunately the first few weeks saw some disciplinary issues on the field, particularly with umpire abuse, and the misuse of social media off the field, leaving the league executive to have to make pleas to all to get their acts together for the sake of the game and the league.

"One such social media post saw our chairman contacted by the ECB to ask what sort of league we were running.

"Despite our efforts and the support of the vast majority, problems continued both on and off the field until mid-season when thankfully we saw an improvement in behaviour.

"Let me reiterate, the vast majority of clubs and players act extremely well and in the spirit of the game but, like most things in life, the small minority seem to find a way to spoil things."

Helliwell then continued the theme with regards to the Rod Warhurst Sunday League cup final.

He wrote: "The aforementioned ill discipline hit the headlines at the Rod Warhurst Sunday League Cup final in which Birkby Rose Hill lifted the cup by comfortably beating Buttershaw St Paul's at Rastrick.

"Unfortunately the incidents on the day totally overshadowed the game and led to a prolonged disciplinary process which has only recently been completed.

"The two clubs and the individuals concerned are aware of the outcomes. Many have suggested that the league have been slow to complete the process. However, these incidents were so serious in nature it was right that the league’s disciplinary officer not only followed ECB guidelines but general legal principles in taking time to allow everyone their say and ensuring (that) due process was followed.

"Many thanks to him and his panel in bringing this to a conclusion. Furthermore the executive have decided that from 2020 the league website will carry information on completed disciplinary processes for all to see."

Happily, Helliwell was also able to reflect on the success of the league's new website, the re-admission of Augustinians with two Saturday teams and the addition of a second team for Greetland, bringing the league up to 31 clubs and 62 teams.

Golcar were newcomers to the Sunday League, which Sowerby St Peters and Mount rejoined.

Blackley added an additional team, but Thornton were a late withdrawal, leaving the section with a total of 26 teams.

Cup finals were staged by Sowerby Bridge (Thornton beat Booth in the Parish Cup), Bradshaw (Booth beat Sowerby St Peters in the Crossley Shield), Low Moor Holy Trinity (Booth beat Thornton in the T20) and Rastrick (the Rod Warhurst Cup).

Respective first-team league titles went to Illingworth St Mary's (Premier Division), Blackley (Division One) and Luddendenfoot (Division Two), with the second-team crowns going to Mount (Premier Division), Bradshaw (Division One) and Clayton (Division Two).

Sunday League titles were garnered by Copley (Division One), Birkby Rose Hill (Division Two) and Mount (Division Three).

Helliwell also thanked the league's sponsors, the league's executive committee, club volunteers and umpires, as well as the Cricket Asylum for working hand in glove with the Halifax Junior League.