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Host of cricket clubs face final innings if summer deluge repeated in 2013
12:00pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in Sport
CRICKET clubs across York, North and East Yorkshire are in danger of going to the wall if they are forced to endure another season of rain next year.
The worst summer for a century has played havoc with clubs in the Hunters York & District Senior League and HPH York Vale League – with chiefs saying it is inevitable they will lose teams if the 2013 campaign proves as inclement.
Taken as a whole, cricket clubs have lost tens of thousands of pounds of income in match fees, bar takings and fund-raising opportunities.
And it is not just on the financial front where they have been hard hit.
Many outfits have reported dwindling squad numbers as, with a prolonged period in April and May without any cricket, players found other activities to occupy their weekends and did not return when the gloom lifted.
The Press spoke to more than 20 teams competing in the two leagues with Stillingfleet Cricket Club, which has been running for almost a century and is a founder member of the Vale League, admitting they might have to fold because of the crisis.
Others hard hit include:
• Senior League outfit Goole, who estimated to have lost £8,000 during April and May when they played just two half games. They normally generate £1,000 a match in bar takings and other fundraising activities
• Easingwold, also in the Senior League, who put their losses at around £6,000 from ten lost fixtures
• York pulled a team out of the Vale League because a lack of players resulted in them conceding six games – with another six rained off – in a situation club chiefs labelled “embarrassing”
• And Vale League side Ovington, already beset by issues at their Little Knavesmire ground, lost £1,000 as their first team were kept off the pitch for nine games Albert Pattison, secretary of the York & District Senior League, said: “It has had a big effect (financially) on clubs.
“My own, Sheriff Hutton Bridge, lost a third of its income. You lose match fees. Nearly everyone is paying a relatively small subscription fee and is charged weekly match fees.
“You lose those, you lose bar takings, raffle money. It is never ending. But the expenditure side of things doesn’t change. You still have to prepare pitches and do everything else involved in running a cricket club.
“There’s the possibility we might lose a couple of teams. There are one or two that are struggling without any doubt – most because of numbers of players.”
Martin Jarred, media officer for the Vale League, added: “The season never had any momentum. On the first day only one of our fixtures went ahead.
“We did not get a consistent run during the first half of the season. Yapham didn’t play for about two months.
“Cricket locally cannot afford another summer like the one we have just had. It would be very difficult for some clubs to keep going.”