A merger that sees the formation of Warley & Elland Cricket Club has kept cricket alive at a historic ground in West Yorkshire.
Warley CC, of the ENCO Halifax Cricket League, have joined forces with Elland Cricket Club; the latter resigned from the Huddersfield Cricket League towards the end of last season.
The new club will begin their 2024 campaign at Hullen Edge, with two senior sides and four junior teams.
The First & Second XIs will play in the Premier Divisions of the ENCO Halifax League, while the U9s, U11s, U13s & U15s are competing in the Bramleys Halifax Junior League.
The committee of Warley & Elland will form part of Elland Community Sports Club.
Anthony Briggs, the League chairman said: “It’s fantastic news that both senior and junior cricket will continue at Hullen Edge and the League, following due diligence, was pleased to rubber stamp the
He added: “It would have been a massive blow to recreational cricket in Calderdale to lose such a wonderful cricket ground and playing facilities. This pragmatic solution forged between two well-established local clubs means they can now both look forward to a new chapter and a bright future through joining forces together.”
Warley’s Chris Marsh, who was at the centre of negotiations to form the new club, commented:
“Warley CC has a proud and successful history in the Halifax Cricket League. It is no secret our ground facilities had fallen behind our competitors over the last decade and we were somewhat hamstrung in our ability to improve these facilities to ensure the ongoing viability of the club.”
He continued: “This is very much a long-term decision that will allow us to compete off the field, as well as on. I am extremely excited what the future holds for the new entity and would personally like to thank all members of Warley CC for supporting me on this journey.’
So, a positive outcome after the uncertainty surrounding Elland conceding senior matches in 2023 and then leaving the Huddersfield League.
For those who appreciate their cricket history, Elland Cricket Club were formed in 1860. Initially, they played at a ground on Elland Lane. The club were founder members of the Yorkshire Cricket Council. In 1876, Elland moved across town to Hullen Edge.
The club joined the Huddersfield League in 1926. Six years later, Elland paid the Savile Estate £1,000 to buy the ground. Its pavilion dates from 1899. (Background by Andrew Gallon whose photo is of the Drakes Huddersfield League arrowselfdrive.com Sykes Cup Final between Premiership rivals Barkisland and Scholes in 2015.)
The ground has hosted many cup finals as well as the Australian touring team came to play against the club in In June 1878.
To complete the circle, Andrew has also visited Paradise Lane, Warley’s former home, in 2021 for this website and I’m not sure what (if anything) now becomes of that ground. It is about five miles North of Hullen Edge in Elland as the crow flies (if taking the A646 😁).
So, new beginnings and a fresh club crest, as seen above. It’s very good news obviously although there are a few lingering questions. Not least: how does the new club avoid the same difficulties that led to the merger in the first place?
All of that is for another day… Warley & Elland will open their fixtures at Hullen Edge with two Second XI fixtures, versus Bradshaw (20 April) and Bridgeholme (27 April), with Luddendenfoot providing the initial First XI opposition on 4 May.
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