It is with huge regret that, for the first time in Heywood CC’s long history – or at least that we know of – we will be forfeiting a league fixture.
Heywood’s home fixture on Sunday will be handed to Walsden, meaning the Villagers have won the title. They only needed one point to win the title for a second year in succession with Littleborough being their closest challengers following Heywood’s two defeats last weekend.
This is not a decision taken lightly, but with Heywood already committed to playing Northern in the LCB KO Cup semi-final, after being given permission to arrange this fixture (which is on a date set by the home side) by the CLL management committee, the club cannot put out two first teams.
The second team fixture at Walsden will go ahead, while there is also a third team game at South West Manchester. We would not have had a professional to face Walsden, and there is no wicket being prepared at Crimble, while all volunteers providing teas and services, such as scoring and groundstaff, are off to Crosby for the game.
Nor can we send a second team out to face Walsden firsts as Rochdale can still catch Walsden for the 2nd XI title. We also have to send out a third team in the Manchester Association fixture in fairness to that league, while it was thought that putting out a third team as a first team would not have been a fit and proper thing to do.
Once the date of the Northern clash was known, Heywood went through the proper channels and were granted permission to organise the semi-final, with the CLL allowing us to arrange an alternative date with Walsden for the game. We offered up the next two Saturdays, and would probably have been able to play at a later date if need be.
However, despite negotations, Walsden have invoked the league rule which says CLL matches must take precedence over other fixtures and insisted the game go ahead on Sunday.
They are perfectly within their right to do this, despite the management committee saying we could play Northern on that day. The rule is there to stop teams cancelling league matches willy nilly for other fixtures they have arranged.
It had been hoped Walsden would have looked at the situation and seen that such a scenario could arise for them in future with their strong side, and could have accommodated a fixture which is prestigious for the CLL. Heywood would like to think they would have agreed to a change, but Walsden insist they have their reasons.
It now means Walsden win the title without completing a league victory.
In a message to CLL chairman Neville Fletcher, cricket chairman David Fare said: “To say that the HCC committee are annoyed and disappointed is an understatement, not only are Walsden handed the league title on a plate (which presumably is their intention) but much more importantly we lose a home fixture which impacts on gate receipts and bar take etc , etc.
“My final thoughts on this are that the league gave us permission to play the Lancs KO match this Sunday and Walsden should have had a moral obligation to oblige an alternative date for the fixture.
“The action taken by the Walsden club has done the CLL no favours whatsoever and at a time when the league need all the best publicity it can get the vast majority of people will have great difficulty in understanding what has transpired.”
- Heywood CC Teams For Weekend
- LCB KO CUP: Northern Date Confirmed As Sunday, 1 September
- Walsden Clash Re-Arranged Until Saturday 7 September
- Northern, Away, Next For Heywood In LCB KO
- Burton Cup Semi OFF – To Be Re-arranged
- Burton Cup The Big Draw At Crimble This Weekend
- Rochdale Inflict Fatal Blow To Heywood Title Hopes
- Places On Coach For Northern
- Unchanged Teams For The Weekend
- Teams For Weekend And Burton Cup Prices – And A Query