THE HPH York Vale Cricket League 2018 season will start on Saturday, April 28 with a cracking opening clash in division one.

Pre-season favourites Westow, the 2017 runners-up, will host Kelfield, who finished third last year.

Westow ended only eight points behind champions Ovington, who have migrated to the York & District Senior League. The Ovington name will still feature in the Vale League top flight, though, as their second team gained promotion to division one.

They were beaten to the second division title by Thixendale, who will be hoping to do better than their last appearance in the first division in 2014.

The village side struggled to fulfil fixtures and were suspended by the league by mid-season in order to get back on track.

They were readmitted to the league in 2015 in the bottom division and have got all the way back up to the top tier and do not expect to face the struggles of four years ago.

Burn, a club with a consistent record in recent seasons, will open their campaign with a trip to Clifton Alliance on Sunday, April 29.

Relegated Stockton & Hopgrove, playing in the second division for the first time since 2010, start with a trip to Thorpe Willoughby. Bishopthorpe, last season’s division three champions, begin with a home game against Yapham.

Newcomers Sessay entertain Selby in division three and Clifton Alliance II, another new side, travel to Burn II.

HPH Cup winners Kelfield will begin the defence of the trophy with a home tie against Ben Johnson on the weekend of May 26/27.

Scothern Contruction Cup holders Yapham are in the HPH Cup this summer and will travel to Askham Bryan for their first round match.

The HPH final will be held at Acomb on Sunday, July 29. Selby will host the Prendergast Memorial and Guy Mitchell T20 finals on Sunday, August 12, with the Prendergast starting at 1pm and the Mitchell about 3.30pm.

The venue for the Scothern Construction Cup final will be announced at a later date.

Cup draws

HPH Cup, round 1 (ties to be played on the weekend of May 26/27): Kelfield v Ben Johnson, Westow v Ovington, Hirst Courtney v Burn, Thorpe Willoughby v Clifton Alliance, Thixendale v Wheldrake, Melbourne v Stamford Bridge, South Cave v Stockton & Hopgrove, Askham Bryan v Yapham. (Second round ties to be played on the weekend of June 23/24.)

Scothern Construction Cup, round 1 (ties to be played on the weekend of May 26/27):

Sessay v Bishopthorpe, Burn II v Thorpe Willoughby II, Ovington II v Acomb, Pocklington v Clifton Alliance II, Hemingbrough v Stamford Bridge II, Malton and Old Malton v Yapham II

Byes: Dunnington, Selby. (Second round ties to be played on the weekend of June 23/24.)