DAVE Alred, who retired as league secretary after the Aire-Wharfe League annual meeting at Otley Rugby Club, did not walk away empty-handed.

He was presented with a mantel clock in recognition of his eight years' service, and said in his final address: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as secretary.

"It has not always been easy, but I would not have been able to do it without help, and now we have to look forwards."

Former league president Mike Hibbert was made a league vice-president, as was former league management committee member Tony Crowther.

In his last secretary's report, Alred – who is being replaced by Matthew Grimes – noted that the number of forfeited matches showed a slight decrease to 20.

He wrote: "One club forfeited a Birtwhistle Cup match, while five teams were not entered into either cup due to the previous year's forfeiture.

"The third XIs had eight instances of teams playing short, and unfortunately one match was forfeited in the Chappell Cup.

"It is very sad to note, and indeed of great concern, that one club has had to withdraw from the league due to insufficient number of players.

"Five second XI league matches were forfeited and two third XI league matches were forfeited, while one team was withdrawn by the league due to forfeitures."

However, Alred also wrote that the league's disciplinary system was working well.

Disciplinary officer David House reported that there were 12 Level One cases, with one hearing, in 2017 compared to 26 Level One cases, with four hearings, in 2016.

Last year, 13 resulted in one to three-week bans, two were four to five-week bans and there were 11 reprimands.

This year, there were ten one to three-week bans, two were four to five-week bans and there were three club reprimands.

There were also four Level Two cases with two hearings, all resulting in four to five-week bans, so all in all the figures year on year were similar.

However, it was disappointing to note that two more league trophies had gone missing.

Alred wrote: "This makes about ten trophies lost in the last six years. This is not good enough, and many trophies are (made of) silver and may cost up to £1,000 to replace and engrave."

It was also sad that the league could not raise a side to compete in the West Yorkshire Area Council Knockout Cup – a competition that they have won twice and twice been runners-up in its five-year history.

He also reminded clubs that club's assessment of umpires should be "objective, fair and honest.

"If you cannot say it at the post-match meeting, then you should not make the comment.

"Post-match meetings are designed for a two-way exchange of thoughts, not a means to get at umpires or captains."

Regulations regarding overseas visas applications are expected to be tightened up as 73 players in various Premier Leagues in 2017 were on incorrect visas, while all captains, scorers and officials have been encouraged to attend meetings over the winter that explain the new laws of cricket.