IN AN extraordinary move, clubs have voted to throw Bamford out of the Versasteel Saddleworth and District Cricket League.
At a special general meeting, clubs decided 10-4 to discontinue their membership for continued flouting of the rules of the league.
League Chairman Eddie Bayliss described it as a “sad day” for the league after Bamford became the first club in its 115-year history to be expelled.
Mr Bayliss added he could not comment further because Bamford, members of the league since 1994, are taking legal advice.
Not many days earlier, Bamford had their Tanner Cup and Moore Cup bans reduced from three years to one following an appeal.
The punishment was imposed after they failed to show up for a rescheduled Tanner Cup tie against Droylsden instead playing Southport and Birkdale in the ECB National Cup.
The second team was also punished as league rules stated they must take the place of the first team in the event of them being unable to fulfil a fixture.
WHAT A crazy season climate wise it has been in the Saddleworth League.
The recent heatwave could not be further removed to the coldest March since weather records began and which at one stage threatened to delay the start to the campaign.
League Secretary Trevor Harrison added that the difference between July 2012 – one of the wettest summer months on record – and July 2013 is a prime example of how unpredictable the British climate is.
“It is hard to believe last July the River Tame burst its banks and flooded Saddleworth’s ground,” he explained.
Mr Harrison added the only potential problems this summer would be if a hosepipe ban is imposed.
The bone-dry pitches have produced some unbelievably high scoring matches as league leaders Bamford Fieldhouse scored 325 for four against Austerlands while in second-team fixtures Uppermill amassed 363 for six against Hollinwood and the Stayley versus Droylsden match produced a total of 538 runs.
The beginning of August sees the finals of the Tanner Cup and Moore Cup.
Moorside are at home to Uppermill in the main competition on Sunday, August 4, an unlikely final as Moorside are sixth in the league and Uppermill ninth.
It is a similar story in the Moore Cup as third-placed Saddleworth host Friarmere, who are eighth, in the final on Sunday, August 11. Don’t discount Friarmere, though, as they are second division’s form team.
In the first division, Bamford lead the way from Heyside who are their nearest challengers.