Mayor heads Augustinians bid

Mayor of Calderdale Councillor Ferman Ali
Mayor of Calderdale Councillor Ferman Ali

Augustinians had the Mayor of Calderdale, Ferman Ali, fighting their corner as they stated their case for a return to the Spenser Wilson Halifax League last night.

The former Laund Hill club, now at a new ground in Rastrick, are keen to have two senior sides readmitted to the league in 2019.

Augustinians left the league somewhat under a cloud in 2013, having joined in 1997, when they had administrative problems and then lost their ground at the Huddersfield YMCA complex.

After failing to gain use of previously-used cricket pitches at Norwood Green and Park Lane School, Exley, they have settled on a third site in Calderdale off Birds Royd Lane.

They backed their application to rejoin the Halifax League with a presentation at the league meeting at Pellon Club last night, led by club member Ali and including a video show of the club’s expansive ground and off-field facilities.

Ali, who has previously played for Luddenden Foot CC, said Augustinians had transformed “a grazing ground into a cricket pitch.”

He said the club had a 30-year lease, with an option to extend or buy, and had 52 registered players plus umpires, coaches and welfare officers.

Augustinians are currently members of the Dewsbury League and their firsts were promoted as runners-up of Division Two last season.

They have no junior teams but Ali said Augustinians were in touch with local schools in an effort to form under 11 and under 13 sides in 2019.

He admitted Augustinians “had not been the best club in the world” in the past but said some experienced additions to the committee would ensure things were better managed.

“We love cricket - if not we wouldn’t have spent £60,000 on the ground,” he said.

League assistant secretary Alan Ford said executive members had visited Augustinians in the autumn. “We had a few recommendations but everything was in order,” he said.

League chairman Anthony Briggs is also backing the application for Augustinians to become the league’s 31st club playing on a Saturday.

He said: “As a club they have moved on and forward.”

The application will now be discussed by member clubs ahead of an electronic vote.