IT IS interesting to see the development of some of the minor league clubs of the past coming through to the Central Yorkshire League – and Crossbank Methodists are a prime example, writes Mike Popplewell.
The Batley-based club had some minor successes in the Wakefield Union league before moving up to the Huddersfield Central League 25 years ago.
But, this season sees the club join big name neighbours Batley and Birstall in the CYL and long time secretary Clive Barrett says he can't wait for the start of the new season in eight days' time.
Captaining the side will be former Birstall man Richard Hosley and they have high hopes of 20-year-old paceman Josh Mastin from Australian side Leopold CC, in the Geelong area in the State of Victoria.
Geelong has a long history of cricket excellence, in fact hard-hitting Yorkshire and Australia’s Aaron Finch played for Geelong CC on his way to the top, and though Josh has not yet made the top grade in Victoria, Crossbank in their debut season, are hoping this young man can help justify their place in the CYL.
Keeping a keen eye on Crossbank’s progress this season will be Heckmondwike and Carlinghow CC. They are due to join the league in 2016 and bring CYL cricket back to the historic Cemetery Road ground that was home to the once all-powerful Heckmondwike Cricket Club.
Crossbank will start the season away at East Leeds in Division One while completing the division will be Adwalton, Gildersome, Great Preston, Mirfield, Rodley and Westwood Park.
Hopton Mills and Liversedge will be representing the district in the Championship and making up that competition will be Azaad, Caribbean, East Ardsley, Northowram, Oulton and Wakefield St Michaels.
A 12-team Premier Division will feature Birstall and newly-promoted Batley, who will meet on the opening day of the season at Leeds Road, while Mirfield Parish Cavaliers and Ossett complete the district’s contingent.
The other clubs in this division are Altofts, Buttershaw St Paul’s, Carlton, Hunslet Nelson, Methley, Townville, Wakefield Thornes and Wrenthorpe.