A new name for famous comp?

What do Greater Manchester, Leeds, Rotherham, Barnsley, Wakefield, Castleford and the Holme Valley have in common?

Well, none of them are in the Heavy Woollen District, not even on the periphery, yet all have teams in the quarter final draw for this season’s Heavy Woollen Cup competition. Which begs the question, should there be a name change?

This is the oldest cricket competition in the UK and, as such, has a huge historical significance in the game.

But there are those who might argue as to its significance to the Heavy Woollen District as only Morley and Mirfield-based Moorlands are among the nine teams already through to, or contesting a place in, the last eight.

Former Liversedge chairman Allan Trevitt has seen his club join Cleckheaton and Batley in opting out of the competition in recent years.

Never slow to air his views on the game, Allan, a long-standing servant of cricket in the Heavy Woollen District, both as a player and administrator, has questioned the point of smaller clubs entering.

“Everything is stacked against the less wealthy clubs,” said Allan.

“To start the competition the first week of the season gives the lesser clubs no chance to get proper match play under their belts and perhaps produce a surprise giant-killing.

“It only really gets interesting once it gets down to the last eight and all the top clubs are together.”

Of course, this problem would be eliminated if the Heavy Woollen Cup Committee were to adopt the Football Association’s approach to cup competitions and only bring the leading teams in at a later stage.

This wouldn’t have avoided situations like Hopton Mills suffering a 278-run defeat at Townville in their second-round game last weekend, although a first round bye for a side playing second tier cricket in the CYL last year was always putting them at risk of being out of their depth in round two.

Ironically, there were no glaring mismatches this season on paper – it was when they got on to the pitch the problems began.

Ossett looked in contention up to the half-way stage against Rotherham side Treeton, but after Richard Whitehurst (40) had helped them to 208-8 the visitors made 209-2 to romp home by eight wickets.

The next one of our district’s teams to go was Birstall who were unceremoniously dumped after making just 97 chasing 253 at Mirfield-based Moorlands, Oakenshaw side Woodlands went out to New Farnley, while Gomersal, East Bierley, Hanging Heaton, Scholes, and Spen Victoria all went out in round one.

So, Morley, four-wicket winners at Yeadon thanks to an unbeaten 64 from skipper Matthew Baxter, and Moorlands are the only clubs based anywhere near the historic Heavy Woollen District who will be involved in the third round on June 5.

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