The LJL are very pleased to announce another successful season.
The League had 28 different clubs an increase of 8 on 2018.
This brought 125 teams into the competition, an increase of 29 teams on 2018.
The 2019 competition has seen 1600 fixtures including the cup, an increase of 300 on 2018.
Of the fixtures scheduled, 325 remained unplayed which was twice as many as 2018.
This meant that 80% of fixtures were played, down 4% on the previous year.
Whilst the dreadful August weather can be largely blamed, the dismal statistics from the two under 17s leagues will bear scrutiny at the 2019 AGM in February 2020.
Nevertheless over 1,000 different children and youths from under 9 to under 17 represented their clubs.
I would like to thank all clubs, reps, managers and coaches and of course parents for this encouraging statistic
I repeat what I have said in past years.
I think that the figures show the great desire that local youngsters have for the playing of cricket and for involvement with local clubs.
However we cannot afford to be complacent and I again saw enough last seasons to be concerned.
A very small number of clubs struggled at the odd age group and a couple of clubs struggled full stop.
I urge those arranging fixtures and indeed cancelling and rearranging fixtures to consider the opposition and ensure sufficient notice is given.
The ethos of the league is to develop cricketers and to build strong junior sections for the benefit of the clubs, their senior sides and of course the local community.
I again urge all senior committees to give their junior organisers the full support of the club in terms of finance and assistance.
Obsession with the 1XI at the expense of the juniors can only lead to decline.
The 2019 AGM will see discussion on the absorption of the new clubs, the geographic split and the non-splitting of the cup competitions.
We will also discuss the use of plastic bats, combined teams, the sponsorship deal with Cricket Asylum and the usual housekeeping of the league.
I would like to applaud the decision to play under 7 festivals again.
Last season again proving an enjoyable experience.
These will continue to be club led, as opposed to a formal league structure.
I would like to thank the coach/managers Nigel Brown and Naomi Aspin for their great and invaluable input in running the LJL representative teams at u12 and u14 .
This has now become a valuable tool in raising the standards of players in the League and having coached at, and attended trials myself I can see how important this is to increasing the skills of the youngsters .
Neither team won silverware but we can be well satisfied with the programme and the improvement it is making.
I know from my own experience and observations that tremendous enjoyment is derived from the Lancashire Junior League competition and I am pleased to say that the spirit of the competition has been upheld again this season.
I am able to report that there were no disciplinary matters demanding Executive action for the season for the 7th year running and only a handful of controversial matters were raised – all of which were dealt with amicably and satisfactorily.
I am grateful to the clubs who acted promptly and vigorously in dealing with such matters.
I do however urge all junior co-ordinators to fully brief their managers on the rules and what is expected of them.
I would like to congratulate all those sides who have won silverware and who progressed in the County wide competitions.
I would also like to pay tribute to all those coaches, managers, groundsmen, youngsters and parents who have been the reason for the success of the season and will have their own personal and club achievements to be proud of.
On behalf of the entire League I would like to thank our fixtures and results secretary Simon Lord for his great diligence and expertise in recording the results and producing the fixtures and tables.
In closing my final thanks are to Ian Denwood who set up all the fixtures on the computer and established our Play Cricket site.
Ian has stepped down to a geographic relocation to the dark county and we thank him profusely for his sterling work .
Stan Heaton LJL Junior Chairman