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Secretary's Report for 1991

After the remarkably fine weather enjoyed over the last few seasons, 1991 saw a return to the more usual wetter early spring conditions.

As the season progressed, however, mid summer was hot and sunny and this continued into the early autumn.

Many Clubs had strengthened their playing staff during the close season and this reflected in the higher playing standards especially at the Clubs who had not enjoyed success the previous year.

Although Leyland C C won the First Division Championship by only one point, after losing three sucessive matches in May, they were undefeated for the rest of the season.

Good all round performances by Professional Phil Bainbridge, (now with Durham County Cricket Club) together with those of Geoff Miller, Dave and Ken Snellgrove and David Halliwell, ensured that Leyland were worthy League Champions and also Runners-uo in the Matthew Brown Trophy.

Chorley C C were the most successful Club, being Runners-up in the First Division Championship, Winners of the Slalom Lager Trophy and Blackledge Trophy and Finalists in the Latus Trophy.

The bowling contributions of Professional James Sutherland (and the experienced Keith Eccleshare) were decisive; Sutherland being the League leading wicket taker with 78 wickets and Eccleshare creating a new Chorley Club Amateur bowling record with 67 wickets.

St Annes C C made significant progress on the field this reflecting the transfomation in the Club's fortunes.

Professional Gerry Kirton made a big impact both on and off the field and has been rewarded with a three year contract in line with the long term plans for the Club.

The Club won the Matthew Brown Trophy and were fifth in the League.

Blackpool C C won the Bass Lancashire Cricket Association Knockout Cup for the third successive year thereby maintaining the domination of this Competition by Northern League Clubs.

In the 22 years life of the Competition, Northern League Clubs have been winners 17 times and Runners-up five times.

Blackpool were third in the League and Martin Pickles created a Club Amateur Batting Record, scoring 917 runs, a major achievement at this fine Club.

Professional Jack Simmons was elected to the Lancashire County Club Committee.

Both are to be congratulated on their success.

The young and talented Blackpool 2nd XI, nobly led by Peter Edge (and supported by "Aunty Pam") won the Latus Trophy and were Runners-up in the Second Division.

Morecambe C C despite the efforts of Professional Robert Haynes, were unable to win any First Division hardware but the Second team were Second Division Champions.

Graham Fisher had a very successful season scoring 760 runs

New Second Division Batting Records were created at Leyland C C, Netherfield C C and Leyland DAF C C by John Pallett (793 runs), Ian Heath (747 runs) and Dave Catterall (648 runs) respectively and congratulations are extended to each.

Junior cricket in the League continues to make dramatic progress as will be seen from Clive Henderson's Report, and as the League hopes to announce a major Junior Cricket Sponsor during this year, the full support of all the Clubs in the League would be greatly appreciated by the Executive.

Matthew Brown plc have again agreed to sponsor the Northern League (for the 22nd year) and have announced a very generous increase of some 33%.

Grateful thanks from the Executive and all Club Officials and Players are extended to the Management of Matthew Brown through Paul Shepherd.

The League relies heavily on Local Radio and the Press for publicity and particular thanks are due to Radio Lancashire, Red Rose Radio, Lancashire Evening Post and the Blackpool Gazette, amongst others too numerous to mention.

Once more, the Umpires Federation is to be thanked on behalf of the League for the way our matches in 1991 have been officiated.

Mutual respect between players and Umpires is essential if we are to enjoy our cricket.

Congratulations to Tom Wilson on being elected Vice President of the Lancashire Cricket Association for his services to cricket.

The Executive is pleased to record that our Chairman, Ken Wilton, has been elected Vice President of the Lancashire Cricket Association in recognition of his work for the Northern League in particular, and our congratulations are extended to Tom and Ken.

The League Executive would like to add its congratulations to Barbara Entwistle, the first lady member of our Panel of Umpires, who has been elected as Mayoress of Blackburn for 1992.

Furthermore, we are delighted to welcome Jim Gledhill as Northern League Vice President and look forward to seeing Jim at our games following the improvement in his health.
There can be few shrewder judges of young cricket ability in England than Jim.

We welcome Frank Hardman as Treasurer of the League and hope he derives as much pleasure from this new position as he did as a player in the League.

It is also important to record our thanks to Brian Airey for his efforts as League Treasurer for the last year. Brian will be able to concentrate on preparing the correct figures in his score book once more.

Finally, on behalf of the Executive, may I thank all Clubs, Officials, Players and Scorers for their continued support and co-operation during 1991, and look forward to the New Season with renewed optimism.

Enjoy your cricket

David Smalley
Honary League Secretary

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