Secretary's Report for 1994
In many ways, the 1994 season was one of the most successful in recent times.
At National level, Chorley C C won the Abbot Ale National Cricket Association Trophy at Lords Cricket Ground.
This was an outstanding performance considering that some seven hundred clubs from the whole of the country enter the competition.
Chorley C C are to be congratulated, and thanked for maintaining the Northern League's image and prestige on and off the field of play.
Darwen C C were the finalists in the Skipton Building Society Lancashire Cricket Association Knockout Cup, losing to Rochdale C C in the Final at Old Trafford.
Nevertheless this was a fine achievement since Darwen only qualified to enter the competition when Netherfield C C decided to play in the Cumberland Cricket Association Cup rather than the L C A one.
Netherfield won this competition.
At Inter-League level, the team successfully retained the Manchester Evening News Inter-League Trophy by beating the Ribblesdale League in the Final at Heywood C C.
For the first time in many years, the First Division Championship was retained, this time by Kendal C C, with Leyland C C being Runners-up, this being decided off the last game of the season.
In the Vaux Samson Cup, St Annes C C narrowly defeated Morecambe C C.
The Vaux Bitter Cup, was won by Darwen C C with Morecambe C C again being defeated finalists.
In the Second Division Morecambe C C were Champions, long before the end of the season, and Netherfield C C were Runners-up.
The Blackledge Trophy was won by Morecambe C C and Darwen C C were Runners-up.
Preston C C returned to trophy winning form by becoming Latus Trophy Champions, narrowly defeating St Annes C C in a remarkable game at Highbury Road.
The first ever Third Division Champions were Morecambe C C with Fleetwood C C being Runners-up.
The new league has been very well received and has been launched without major problems.
St Annes C C have agreed to enter a third team for 1995, which we hope will encourage the two remaing clubs to join us soon.
Morecambe C C completed a unique double by winning the Norman Poole Cup, by defeating Chorley C C in the final, whose chairman Mr Norman Poole generously presented the Cup for which we are grateful.
The Junior cricket is reviewed by Clive Henderson elsewhere but suffice it to say that the League continues to benefit from the new generation of cricketers produced by all the efforts of Clubs,Officials and Coaches, ably lead by Clive Henderson, whom we welcome to restored health after his successful operation.
At this stage, congratulations are extended to Andrew Flintoff of St Annes C C who has been offered a Professional contract by Lancashire County Cricket Club.
We hope Andrew continues to progress up the ladder of success during his tour to the West Indies this winter with England Under 19 XI, where he has performed well.
Having achieved so much success on the field of play, the unacceptable behaviour by a few individuals has had to be dealt with firmly.
It needs to be recorded here that the League Executive will not tolerate this in 1995 and legislation has been passed at the Annual General Meeting which it is hoped will encourage Clubs and Captains to prevent a repeat performance.
We thank our Umpires Federation for its continued support of the League with the usual high level of committment despite increased pressure on the field of play.
We have offered increased support from the League through legislation changes which it is hoped will transfer disciplinary pressures from the umpires to the League Clubs and Captains.
It is with sadness and deep regret that I have to report the deaths of four League stalwarts.
Our Vice-President, Jim Gledhill was one of the most respected and shrewdest Junior Cricket administrators in Lancashire.
He had been associated with the Lancashire County Cricket Club for many years and the Lancashire Federation XI in particular.
Few promising cricketers were missed by Jim's scouting system.
Syd Boniface was one of our longest serving Umpires and his smiling face and cheery outlook on life will be missed by many.
John Rossall played in the League for Chorley C C for many years and was one of the most skillful slow left arm bowlers, and a very popular cricketer.
Nick Hargreaves was one of our younger Umpires and a personal friend, work colleague and fellow cricketer.
His untimely death in a road accident was particularly sad as this occurred on his way home following an Umpires meeting in Blackpool.
All these gentlemen will be missed and our thoughts go out to their families.
Our first year of League sponsorship by Vaux Breweries and Junior sponsorship by National Westminster Bank have progressed well and we thank Mike Berryman and Sheila Bennett for their valuable assistance and look forward to continued co-operation during 1995 and 1996 seasons.
Finally, may I offer thanks as usual to the League Club players and Officials for their continued support and the League Executive members for their efforts which often go unseen, but which contribute so much to the continued high standards of the League.
Enjoy your cricket in 1995 !
Honary League Secretary