DESPITE the withdrawal of Wilsden at under-13 and under-15 level and Cowling in the under-15 age group, a total of 65 teams will be under starter's orders in the Upper Airedale Junior Cricket Association (UAJCA) this season.

Last year's winners were Wilsden (under-17s), Steeton (under-15s), Skipton (under-13s) and Great Horton Church (under-11s and under-nines), with the under-nines moving into the main season rather than being played in the summer holidays.

One landmark date is the popular day-long six-a-side festival at Skipton's Sandylands complex on Sunday, June 19, which includes a guest under-nine team from Lincolnshire.

Meanwhile, over the winter players have been going to trials for not only UAJCA representative teams, but also for Yorkshire Schools and district teams Bradford-Calderdale (formerly West Yorkshire West) and North Yorkshire.

Thirteen players have so far been successful: Sam Parry (Earby), Jo Holderness (Skipton), Harry Hollingsworth (Oakworth), Corey Green (Oakworth), Harris Rowlett (Steeton), Joe Hall (Crossflatts), Lewis Brown (Oakworth), Elliot Robinson (Cullingworth), Parth Sunil (Cullingworth), Jake Keslinke (Oakworth), James Powell (Oakworth), Jacob Davies (Oakworth) and Ayaan Khokar (Great Horton Church).

Meanwhile, James Mukherjee (Skipton) and James Robinson (Bradley) continue to progress at county level and hopes are high they will be joined at Headingley by more of the Association’s Pathways students.

League competition commences on Sunday, May 1 with under-13 and under-nine matches.

Under-15s will be on Wednesdays, with under-11s and under-17s on Thursdays, but cup-ties will be on Monday evenings.

The representative fixture list is also very full, with over 30 matches, which this year includes an under-11 Twenty20 competition in Scarborough and an under-11 match against Cumbria at Oakworth.

The Yorkshire Festival contains visits from Leeds, Aire-Wharfe, Hambleton and Huddersfield, with trips to East Yorkshire, Bradford (at Keighley Cricket Club), Barnsley, Pontefract and Wetherby.

Last year, the UAJCA won their first trophy in representative cricket (the under-tens Asylum Plate), and are looking for more progress.