THE Yorkshire Premier Leagues’ play-off competition, which is currently an end-of-season event, may be played earlier in the campaign in future.

Although the dates have been set for the semi-finals and final of this year’s competition, played between the winners of the four Premier leagues in Yorkshire, doubts exist as to its future.

The semi-finals will be played on Saturday, September 21, and the final is scheduled for Castleford Cricket Club the Saturday after.

The winners of the South Durham & North Yorkshire League will be at home to the champions of Yorkshire Premier League North in one semi-final, and the winners of the Yorkshire Southern Premier League will host the champions of the Bradford Premier League in the other.

Alan Birkinshaw, chief executive of the Bradford Premier League, explained: “There is no longer a Yorkshire Premier Leagues’ management board, and the overseas players from the North Yorkshire & South Durham League tend to go home quite early.

“The four leagues have been in talks since April, and the question is ‘Could we hold the event during the season (presumably with the previous season’s winners taking part) in future like we used to do with the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions’ Trophy’?

“And with the weather becoming more unpredictable, is there room in the calendar for it?

“For example, Woodlands (Bradford Premier League champions) were supposed to have an ECB National Club Championship match at South Northumberland last weekend, and that has been re-scheduled for next Sunday, and Woodlands are already a round behind in the Heavy Woollen Cup and they also have a Priestley Cup quarter-final to fit in, so all the competitions are starting to run into one another.”

Woodlands’ spokesman Brian Pearson revealed: “The Priestley Cup tie at home to Pudsey St Lawrence is now scheduled for Sunday, June 30 (it should have been played this coming Sunday), but we may have to play the Heavy Woollen quarter-final at Townville as a T20.”

Rain decimated Saturday’s Bradford Premier League programme, with Northowram Fields the only venue where a first XI match started, with the hosts 12-0 after five overs against East Ardsley.