PETER Foster, who is stepping down as secretary of the Mewies Solicitors Craven League at the annual meeting in December due to family issues, wants member clubs to embrace the future.

Speaking at the league’s annual dinner at Rolls Royce Sports Club in Barnoldswick, Foster said: “What does the future bring?

“We can make it exciting if we show we are capable of making changes – changes like a new points system to give a losing side the chance the gain extra points, and revamping the Manorlands Plate to become a One Hundred competition.

“These and more must be grasped by the league to inject fresh interest and excitement into games.

“Let’s also embrace the idea of catering for more clubs to join our league - clubs that will enrich the competition and provide us all with new challenges.”

Foster has guided the league through both the changeover from the previous regime and through the pandemic, and has admitted that the past two seasons have been challenging.

He said: “I would like to extend my thanks to you all – each of our member clubs and individual players throughout the league.

“The last two seasons have been difficult. There were difficult decisions to be made, but you – the members – accepted those decisions and cracked on with getting the game played, with little or no complaining.

“For that, lads and ladies, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to my colleagues on the executive committee for their help, input and advice during the last two years.

“I am proud to be part of the team.”

Foster also expressed thanks to Embsay, who are leaving the Craven League this winter to join the Nidderdale League.

He confessed: “The league just won’t be the same without you. Your presence in the Craven League spans many decades and involved many close-fought matches.

“Losing Crossflatts last year was a blow to the league, but they grasped their new challenge and powered through Division Three of the Bradford League to end the season as divisional champions, winning promotion in their first year.

“Embsay, I, we, the league wish you every possible success as you explore new pastures within the Nidderdale League and may your first season emulate Crossflatts. Embsay CC, you will be missed, God speed.”

Foster also congratulated Denholme’s Toby Priestley for being the first player to reach 1,000 league runs in a season since 2010.

He said: “The batting milestone for league averages (qualification) is set at 300 runs in ther season. A tally of 500 runs is good going, 750 runs in a season is outstanding; 1,000 runs in a season is phenomenal and worthy of a mention. Well done Toby Priestley of Denholme. A great effort.”