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THE 1980'S

A review of the 1989 season is given elsewhere on this site and it paints a very good picture of the League.

A review of the 1980's would paint an equally good picture so much so that we could claim to have a playing strength and record comparable with or better than most of the League's in the North West.

Clubs from this League have dominated the Lancashire Knock Out Competition and from 1979 - 86 we won the Competition each year, twice we had the two finalists and on one occaision we had three of the semi-finalists.

Blackpool won the Competition in 1989 to complete a memorable quartet of successes.

The Cumbria K.O Trophy appears to have taken up permanent residence at Netherfield C C.
That Club also are the Regional winners of the Cockspur Cup- the National K O Trophy -to continue our success story in the Competition in which Leyland C C and Blackpool C C have done well in the national rounds.

In the Lancashire Inter-League Competition the League team has had its share of success with victories in 1977 and then four years out of five in 1982,1983, 1984, and 1986.

Recently we have not been as successful but we are still a force to be reckoned with and our team will surely come again soon.

The League has been criticised for not recruiting top class professionals as in the case in the Lancashire and Central Lancashire Leagues.

The absence of top class professionals gives more opportunity to the amateurs to make their mark on the game and become better players and this is one of the reasons for our success in competitions outside the League.

There have been some top class players - Franklyn Stephenson, Rohan Kanhai, Javed Miandad, Maninder Singh and Ravi Shastri - who have made good contributions but there have been equally good contributions from some of the "unknown" overseas professionals - Patrick Farhart, Scott Hookey and Warren Whiteside.

Netherfield could claim that the season David Boon spent with them gave him useful experience before becoming a Test batsman and New Zealander Trevor Franklin will not be forgotten for his deeds at Lancaster C C.

In looking at the professionals it is only right to pay tribute to those of the "home" professionals Mike Staziker, Bob Entwistle and Keith Eccleshare.
Their quality made them so consistently successful in their role over many seasons as the League records show and it will be a long time before we see their equals.

Clubs obviously have to rely on amateur players the names of Jack Armstrong, David Bonner, Roy Booth, Graham Fisher, Shaun Higgins, David Higham, Steve Lawton and Alan Wilson rapidly come to mind.

Adrian Darlington, Graham Clarke, David Cresswell, David Jolleys and Martin Pickles have made their mark more recently whilst two teenagers, Gareth Cordingley and Jekff Hacking have made an encouraging start at Darwen.

We should not forget the success of the League Colts who won the North West Colts Under 18 Trophy with their captain Peter Deakin playing a crucial role in the Final.

Our Umpires have had their share of recognition with Tommy Wilson and Ken Shenton in particular being appointed to officiate in the First and Second class games.

The Northern League can be pleased with the standard it has set and maintained since the first season in 1952.

Our first President was Sir Donald Bradman and we could not have had a better choice if we were looking for a standard brearer for our League.

In a recent letter he states that "Back in 1952 I was a close personal friend of Billy Blackledge, then the proprietor of Park Mills Chorley.
Bill twisted my arm to accept nomination as President of the League.
I only accepted because of our personal friendship but made it clear that my part was only a nominal one and that I could not take any active part in the Leagues affairs."

Sir Donald sends greetings to the League and best wishes for its continued success.

This success can be achieved on the field if the players are prepared to adopt the same standards Sir Donald set himslf and his team.

The name of Sir Donald Bradman is highly regarded in the world of cricket and as we enter a new decade with the 1990 season someone also highly regarded in the world of cricket becomes associated with - or rather resumes his association with our League.

The name of Jack Simmons represents success and pleasure in cricket - let this be the aim of our League, its Clubs and its players for the 1990's.

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