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Secretary's Report for Season 2012

It seems remarkable that the season is over already but it will, I expect be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Waking up to the dreaded phone call to say another game has been cancelled, became a regular occurrence. It was far and away the worse season on record and the League and Cup programme was severely curtailed due to the weather.

My thanks must be put on record for the support of all the clubs for managing to fulfil their fixtures when possible. Club grounds men must get a special mention. The fact that any games were played are testimony to their devotion to duty to get games played under the conditions they were faced with. Every credit to all our League Grounds men.

Having said that there was a lot of competitive cricket played and my congratulations must go to the respective divisional winners and runners up. Fleetwood C.C. being crowned champions of Division 1 and Barrow C.C the worthy runners-up.

In Division 1 the 2012 season proved to be the most exciting for years, as any one of 4 clubs could have won the league title up to the last 3 matches of the season. The 2nd Division saw Leyland C.C. the worthy winners triumph again with Barrow C.C. gaining the runners-up slot. However, as the management committee have discussed, cricket in this League needs to be addressed to raise standards to produce a higher level of competitive cricket. Hopefully, this will come to fruition if not for the 2013 season but for 2014.

Kendal C.C. won the Division 1 Readers Cup with Leyland C.C. winning the respective Division 2 Cup. Fleetwood C.C. won the TWP Wealth Twenty/20 Cup. Fleetwood C.C. went on to represent the NPL in the ECB Twenty/20 Cockspur Cup in the regional final at New Brighton C.C.

We must remember we are a Premier League and must strive to raise our standards. It has been very disappointing the numbers of clubs, who have failed to attend meetings, fill in reports and reply to correspondence. This has to improve and the Executive are taking steps for the 2013 season to eradicate this negative attitude to our League.

On a brighter note this year was the League's 60th Anniversary. This was celebrated at the League's Annual Presentation Dinner. John Kettlestring, kindly produced a brief resume of the league to mark the occasion, which I thank him for. The dinner was again a huge success. My congratulations go to all the winners on the night and especially to our President Brian Standing who won the "Outstanding Contributions to the NPL" Award. A true ambassador for the League.

I thank all our Sponsors of the League and respective cups, whose continued support is greatly appreciated especially in this financially, turbulent time. I must once again thank the support of the entire Executive, led by the Chairman and also the Management Committee for their continued support. On the behalf of the NPL, I would also like to thank the Northern Umpire's Federation for their continued support. We have been working very closely together to improve standards in the League.

Andy Kellett, kindly agreed to do the fixtures for the forthcoming season and Mike Latham edited our handbook once again. The Executive would like to thank both Andy and Mike, who have given up much of their valued time to produce the fixtures and the handbook respectively. I thank the press for the continued reporting of our games, which is much appreciated by the League.. Finally, I must thank both John Kettlestring and Richard Edmondson who have managed both our websites, in putted scores, produced reports for the ECB - just to mention a few of their unenviable jobs. The League could not operate without both John's and Richard's input.

On a personal note I would like to congratulate Alex Davies and Luis Reece, who have been offered professional contracts at Lancashire County Cricket Club. This is a true testament to the standard of young cricketers continually being produced by the League and have gone on to play cricket for the County.

Let us hope that the 2013 season will be a lot drier and that we will be discussing the cricket and not the weather at the end of the season! I wish every club every success for the forthcoming season.

Ann Gilfoyle

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