TWO more clubs have left the Mewies Solicitors Craven League.

They are Foulridge and Barrowford, who have been released to join the newly-formed North West League, which has resulted from a merger of the Ribblesdale League and Bolton League.

The two Lancashire clubs, who had three teams between them (Foulridge did not have a second XI), therefore join Oakworth (who have taken all three of their teams into the Halifax League) and Bingley Congs (whose first and second XIs have joined the Aire-Wharfe league) in leaving the league.

However, the loss of eight teams and the addition of five (Bowling Baptists and Menston-Crompark are both joining with two teams, while Silsden are re-forming their second team) has given the league a potential unintended bonus.

They have been left with four divisions, each with 10 teams (the executive committee will decide on the constitution of each division), which opens the way to holding the first three rounds of their cup competitions on Saturdays.

Clubs who get knocked out in the first round could then compete in a new Plate event for each cup.

This would avoid the problems of clubs playing twice over a weekend - at least until the later stages of the cups as it is still envisaged to play the semi-finals and finals on a Sunday.

In the 2022 season there were six Wynn Cup (first teams) ties scheduled, but four of them resulted in walkovers, which was not a good look for the league.

It is intended to start the league on Saturday, April 15, and finish on Saturday, September 9.

The four spare league Saturdays could be filled by three rounds of the cup and possibly, if it is the wish of the clubs, and Coronation Day on Saturday, May 6. All this is open to debate.

The annual meeting of the league will be held at Cross Hills Social Club on Monday, December 12, at 7.30pm.