MATCHES in the second round of the Cowling Cup have been brought forward a week to avoid a clash with an important junior cricket festival.

The Cowling Cup ties will now be played on Sunday, June 14, freeing up the following Sunday for the Upper Airedale Junior League's Black Rat Festival.

The latter event involves 30 teams from Yorkshire and beyond, playing at both Skipton CC and Skipton CI CC.

UAJCA secretary Terry Thompson explained: "Our festival embraces 30 junior teams from across the patch at under-nines, under-11s and under-13s.

"It has been held annually since 2006, initially at Malsis School and in Skipton over the last five years.

"We bill it as 'The Cricket Picnic', and for the last two years it has been sponsored by a local cricket equipment supplier, Black Rat Cricket.

"The festival requires six pitches, and so Skipton CC and Skipton CI CC each split their grounds to provide four pitches, and the parkland 'beyond the hedge' enables two Flicx pitches for the fifth and sixth pitches.

"It is a full-day event with attendance around the 450-500 mark."

Thompson added: "June 21 was our selected date, which now clashes with the Cowling Cup in which both Skipton CI teams may have home draws, negating the use of their ground.

"If the Cowling Cup round were to be held on June 14 the problem goes away."

Thompson explained that the festival could not be moved to June 14 as Skipton CC are scheduled to host a Joe Lumb Competition match and the festival's guests from Lincolnshire could not attend.