Nidderdale Cricket league

The Nidderdale League first commenced in 1894. Prior to then clubs had mostly played only friendly cricket, although there was a competition in the 1880’s at both Kirkby Malzeard, in which a Pateley Bridge & District team competed, and similarly at Thornton Watlass. The earliest record of a match involving a Nidderdale League club was between an 8 of Burton Leonard against 8 of Knaresborough at Riggs Moor in 1796.

In the first season of the league 6 clubs took part. Dacre Banks, Hampsthwaite, Birstwith, Glasshouses, Pateley Bridge and Ripley. The competition commenced in May and within a month there was correspondence in the local press complaining about umpiring decisions, laying to rest any misconceptions that such disputes are of recent origin.

Dacre Banks were the first winners when they defeated Glasshouses in a match at Birstwith in front of 1500 spectators in September. Amongst those playing in the Dacre Banks side was Willie Sutcliffe, the father of Herbert Sutcliffe, who was born in Summerbridge in November 1894.

Nidderdale Cricket league senior

The next winners were Pateley Bridge, and then Glasshouses won the league for three years in succession and, under the rules of the competition, claimed the trophy as their own. It re-emerged in the 1970’s as the Charles Spence Memorial Trophy and is played for by Nidderdale Ladies Cricket League.

After 1898 the clubs went back to playing friendly cricket. The league was re-formed in 1912. Birstwith were the first winners followed by New Park in 1913. The Hon E. Wood, coincidentally a patron of Birstwith CC, who was later to become President of the league, donated the trophy that is still played for today by the first division. The onset of First War resulted in the league being suspended at the end of the 1914 season. The competition was re-started in 1920 and early winners included Harrogate IInds and Bilton.

A second division was formed in 1921 which both Burnt Yates and later Scotton won three years in a row in the 1920’s. Clubs were not necessarily invited to play in the first division and/or could decline promotion to the higher division. The league ran unbroken until 1936.

However, in 1937 the league was suspended through a lack of clubs willing to take part. This was likely to have been due to a combination of factors. A number found the Harrogate League a more attractive proposition, whilst others, including Glasshouses who won the league in 4 successive seasons prior to 1937, went back once again to friendly cricket, citing the cost of travelling to away matches as the reason.

During the 1930’s an evening competition was started which initially involved clubs playing at neutral venue equidistant from those participating to cut travelling costs.

With the passing of World War II the league was re-started under the careful stewardship of Secretary, Harold Atkinson who, along with Treasurer, Ronnie Swires, served the league for almost 40 years in the post war period. Since 1948 it has run continuosly and has grown to have 51 clubs, many with 2nd XI’s, and some with 3rd XI’s, playing every Saturday from mid April to mid September. There is also a thriving junior league from Under 9’s through to Under 17’s.

Nidderdale Cricket league junior

The latter part of the 1980’s saw the gradual introduction of overseas players in the league to which there was considerable resistence on grounds that this was very much against the character and tradition of village cricket. Eventually after many heated AGM’s it was resolved to allow one per club.

The 1990’s saw a significant period of growth when a number of clubs from firstly the Wath League and more recently, the Wensledale League, joined following difficulties in sustaining their competitions.

In 1994 the league celebrated it’s centenary with matches against a Yorkshire XI at Ripley in July, and then MCC at Dacre Banks in September. The match against MCC is now an annual fixture.

Glasshouses have been the predominant team throughout the history of the league, winning the league on 19 occasions and the league knock-out competition 15 times, the latter 9 years in succession from 1946 to 1954. In fact so strong was the club that in one season the 1st XI met the 2nd XI in the knock-out cup final. The nearest club to match this record is Knaresborough Forest with 16 league and 11 cup wins and in more recent times Killinghall have won the league 13 times in 21 years.

The number of clubs gradually increased over the years but a marked increase participation happened after the England team’s Ashes success in 2004. A ninth division was created to accomodate this new desire to play the game. Some clubs created a 3rd XI a 4th XI and in the case of Studley Royal a 5th XI. Not an inconsiderable effort to turn out 55 players every week. There was investment in club facilities and Newby Hall notably developed a second pitch adjacent to their existing ground to accomodate their 3rd XI. In 2006 the investment in juniors and facilities paid dividends when Newby Hall won the First, Fifth and eighth Divisions.

In 2015, in a bid to shake up club cricket in Yorkshire with the aim of the best clubs playing each other, a series of ECB Premier Leagues were formed as a Yorkshire Cricket Pyramid, and the Nidderdale League became aligned to the York and District Senior League as its route to the ECB Premier League North. In that first season, Pannal won Division One and had took the opportunity to move into the York and District Senior Cricket League Division 2. In subsequent seasons, the winners, or team placed second, will have the opportunity to progress up the pyramid.

The league now extends over a wide geographical area, from Middleham in the north to the outskirts of Otley, Leeds and York, a far cry to the days when it was within Nidderdale alone, and when teams were on occasion carried by horse and waggon to away matches. The 2017 season will see Upper Wharfedale join, at the very edge of our catchment, but a beautiful place to play cricket nonetheless.

Nidderdale Cricket league result

It still remains, however essentially a village cricket league set in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

What’s been the discussions in your club/committee?

The upshot is that the club needs a change of scenery. Like it or not, the fact is that club cricket as a whole is shrinking fast and in a nine-mile stretch, from Addingham to Otley, there are eight Aire-Wharfe cricket clubs.

The feeling from those of us that have taken the time to crunch the numbers is that it’s fanciful to suggest that those clubs, fishing from the same pool in terms of standard of cricketer, the same sponsors, the same volunteers, the same spectator interest, can continue to truly thrive while all playing at the same level.

Our move does offer current players with an exciting new challenge, new grounds and friendships. It gives people in Ilkley and its surrounding areas the opportunity to play a different pace of cricket.

What should be made absolutely clear is that this isn’t a decision based on headcount (we intend to enter a second team into the Nidderdale Cricket League) or a cheap effort to win a few pots and pans.

Nidderdale Cricket league twiter

‘Best long-term fit’

Our conversations with the Nidderdale Cricket League have shown, in our mind, that it is the best long-term fit for the way we see the future of our club for many, many decades to come.

I’ve described the Aire-Wharfe Cricket League as a hamster wheel in recent years and in all honesty, there was a feeling that things had gone stale for us.

As the talent pool gets shallower, player turnover in recent years – especially in the Aire-Wharfe – has increased and the hours that go into attempting to sign players every winter simply to stand still is incredible.

And then there’s always the money conversation. Opening up this new chapter in our history is something we’ve spoken about for a few years now. The vote was unanimous among our members and we could not be more excited to get going.

Our ambition as a first-team is to rise through the divisions – we’re likely to start in Division Four – but at the same time if we were to find a level somewhere along the line that would be fine as well.

We’re stepping off the hamster wheel in search of something different.

Theakston Nidderdale League: First loss sees Birstwith’s lead at the top trimmed

George Hirst’s team had won seven out of seven completed fixtures prior to Saturday’s trip to tackle the Roosters, and despite getting themselves into a strong position in the match, failed to go on and finish the job.

Craig Robinson took 3-14, while there were a brace of scalps apiece for Sam Ryan, Pete Hardisty and Jon Millward as ‘Gate were bowled out for 169, skipper Rob Stanworth top-scoring with 36.

Nidderdale Cricket league

Given the power in their batting line-up and the amount of runs they have scored this term, such a target shouldn’t have proved problematic for Birstwith, but their reply never really got going.

None of their batsmen managed more than Craig Robinson’s 28 as Alfie Weaver (4-46) and Ollie Bareham (3-36) combined superbly to send the title-hopefuls packing on 159.

That loss sees Birstwith’s advantage at the summit cut to 13 points following second-placed Darley’s 32-run success over Pateley Bridge.

Theakston Nidderdale League: First loss of 2021 sees Birstwith CC’s lead at the top trimmed

Theakston Nidderdale League Division One leaders Birstwith CC suffered a first defeat of the season, losing out by 10 runs at Harrogate 3rds .

Rob Nelson took five wickets for Darley CC as they narrowed the gap at the top of Theakston Nidderdale League Division One. Picture: Gerard Binks

Rob Nelson took five wickets for Darley CC as they narrowed the gap at the top of Theakston Nidderdale League Division One. Picture: Gerard Binks

George Hirst’s team had won seven out of seven completed fixtures prior to Saturday’s trip to tackle the Roosters, and despite getting themselves into a strong position in the match, failed to go on and finish the job.

Craig Robinson took 3-14, while there were a brace of scalps apiece for Sam Ryan, Pete Hardisty and Jon Millward as ‘Gate were bowled out for 169, skipper Rob Stanworth top-scoring with 36.

Given the power in their batting line-up and the amount of runs they have scored this term, such a target shouldn’t have proved problematic for Birstwith, but their reply never really got going.
None of their batsmen managed more than Craig Robinson’s 28 as Alfie Weaver (4-46) and Ollie Bareham (3-36) combined superbly to send the title-hopefuls packing on 159.

That loss sees Birstwith’s advantage at the summit cut to 13 points following second-placed Darley’s 32-run success over Pateley Bridge.

Jordan King (46) and Jim Grange (37) led the way as the hosts were bowled out for 200, Tom Fryer and Joe Preece each bagging three wickets.

Louis Foxton (47) and Ben Mountain (35) got the Badgers’ response off to a solid start, but something of a collapse followed that opening stand of 86.

And Bridge were eventually dismissed on 168, Furniss and Rob Nelson showing their expertise with ball in hand by claiming a five-wicket haul apiece.

Conclusion

The Nidderdale League first commenced in 1894. Prior to then clubs had mostly played only friendly cricket, although there was a competition in the 1880’s at both Kirkby Malzeard, in which a Pateley Bridge & District team competed, and similarly at Thornton Watlass. The earliest record of a match involving a Nidderdale League club was between an 8 of Burton Leonard against 8 of Knaresborough at Riggs Moor in 1796. In the first season of the league 6 clubs took part.Dacre Banks, Hampsthwaite, Birstwith, Glasshouses, Pateley Bridge and Ripley. The competition commenced in May and within a month there was correspondence in the local press complaining about umpiring decisions, laying to rest any misconceptions that such disputes are of recent origin. Dacre Banks were the first winners when they defeated Glasshouses in a match at Birstwith in front of 1500 spectators in September. Amongst those playing in the Dacre Banks side was Willie Sutcliffe, the father of Herbert Sutcliffe, who was born in Summerbridge in November 1894.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *