PROLIFIC batsman Matty Clark has left HPH York Vale Cricket League club Hemingbrough for Selby.

Clark, who skippered the village side to the 2010 division one title, is one of the most prolific batsmen in the Vale League’s history.

He had a stunning year in 2011 when he became the first Vale player to score a double century, smashing an unbeaten 211 against Clifton Alliance.

He scored four more centuries that summer, falling only ten runs short of joining a select band of Vale players to have made 1,000 runs in a season.

Clark, who also showed his skills with the ball last season by winning the first division bowling prize, is expected to play for one of Selby’s sides in the Hunters York & District Senior League, whose clubs rejected an application from Hemingbrough to join their ranks at their last annual general meeting.

Clark’s switch sees Matthew Milburn take on the Hemingbrough captaincy, with his first game in charge being a trip to Ovington on Saturday, April 27.

Champions North Cave will begin the defence of their title with a tricky trip to Hirst Courtney while two promoted teams, Askham Bryan and Fulfordgate, travel to Bishopthorpe and Burn respectively.

Another team which came up from division two, Kelfield, complete the opening day’s top flight fixtures with a home game against Stockton & Hopgrove.

Relegated Clifton Alliance, back in division two for the first time since 2008, will be looking to get back up at the first attempt under the leadership of new skipper Neil Smith.

They will be looking to get off to a flying start with a home game against York RI, who will be playing their games at the University of York Staff pitch in Heslington Lane rather than New Lane sports ground this season.

This year is the 80th anniversary of the Vale League which was originally formed as the York Saturday League.

A number of events are being planned this summer to mark the milestone, including a three-team competition involving representative sides from the Vale, Senior and Conference Leagues.