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Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy blow

Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy blow

The Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy is to be discontinued after 42 years.

The organisers have taken the decision to call time to prevent the highly-regarded competitiopn from becoming a pale shadow of its former self.

The increasingly crowded fixture list for the county’s most successful club sides has increasingly squeezed a competition. which saw Bradford Premier League side Hanging Heaton beat Wakefield Thornes in last season's final at Cleckheaton.

The rained off final in 2017 between York and Pudsey St Lawrence was followed by further problems last year with two games being decided on the toss of a coin and another being forfeited – despite it being the best summer for years.

Competition Organiser Alan Birkinshaw said: "This is a decision that was taken with a heavy heart. Arranging games has become extremely problematic and often the source of frustration for clubs because of conflicting schedules for the champions of the competing leagues.

"The desire of ECB and leagues to preserve the standing of their cup competitions by building in reserve dates has considerably reduced the options for the playing of Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy  ties."
Writing to the clubs that were due to contest this year's competition, Birkinshaw added: "
On behalf of the Organising Panel, I would like to thank you for your support of the competition and trust you will retain fond memories of it.

"The Organising Panel will be looking to see if there is some way, or a different format, that will allow the competition to return in the future."

Top picture: Hanging Heaton skipper Gary Fellows lifts the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy in 2018. Picture: Ray Spencer