LCB to review Lancashire Cup after Lowerhouse are forced to withdraw

Lowerhouse pulled out of their Lancashire Cup tie with Westhoughton

Lowerhouse pulled out of their Lancashire Cup tie with Westhoughton

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

LANCASHIRE Cricket Board chiefs are to review the format of their flagship Lancashire Cup knockout competition for next season in a bid to prevent teams being forced to withdraw.

Bosses at Old Trafford have received representations from teams in several leagues about the idea of introducing fixed dates for matches.

Lowerhouse have once again been forced to pull out of the Lancashire Cup after hitting a brick wall when trying to find free dates to play their second round tie with Westhoughton.

Last season Ramsbottom didn’t even manage to play their first round tie, while East Lancashire’s run in 2010 came to an end after two rounds when they couldn’t arrange their third round.

And now the managing director of the LCB Bobby Denning says the goverrning authority will listen to the member leagues and clubs as they bid to raise the profile of their flasgship tournament.

Every year Foster’s Lancashire League clubs struggle to fulfil their fixtures in the county competition due to their largely Sunday schedule and House cricket chairman Stan Heaton wants to see a reorganisation for 2015.

The House were due to host Bolton League outfit Westhoughton after beating Heyside in the first round early in May.

But their plans were thrown into disarray when Westhoughton didn’t play their tie with Saddleworth until May 25 and with the Lancashire League and Worsley Cup programme seeing Saturday and Sunday games there is no free date before the June 15 deadline.

Heaton said: “We were ready to play this game from May 5 but the tie to decide our opponents was only played on May 25.

“In between time several available dates have come and gone and because of our league and cup programme we have no available dates in which to play in the fortnight window.

“We have made our annual representations to the LCB about the unfairness of this and the need for fixed dates and I am pleased to say that they recognise the need to reorganise the competition so that we can all compete on an even basis.

“Westhoughton were more than prepared to try and accommodate us but it was impossible and we wish them every success in the next round.”

Denning admits the situation where teams are forced to scratch is far from ideal and said: “The Lancashire Cup is something we are looking into.

“We have received comments from several clubs across several leagues including the Lancashire League about the competition and our clubs and league manager Paul Bryson has some ideas about how to develop the Lancashire Cup and turn it into the flagship we want it to be.

“One of Paul’s ideas is for set dates for matches.

“We work closely with all of our leagues and will talk to them about what they want.”

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