The Derwent Valley Cricket League gets under way on Saturday and we’ve looked at each division as the season draws near.
The league has been rocked by the exits of which has been rocked by the exits of top-flight Oriel, division B outfits Seamer 3rds and Sewerby 4ths and division C Hunmanby in recent weeks,
Newly-promoted sides Lockton (pictured above) and Flamborough could emerge as contenders for the division A title this season.
Both teams raced to promotion last season after their first teams quit the Beckett League in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Lockton youngster Rory Lancaster smashed an astounding 731 runs in division B last season and will be aiming to torment division A attacks this time around.
Great Habton will also be aiming to go one better this year and win the title.
The Ryedale side finished as runners-up in the top flight in 2013, but were refused admission to the Beckett League after the club’s facilities failed to meet their requirements.
Batsman Robin Richardson and bowler Will Curtis will look to be the driving forces behind Habton’s surge this summer.
Hospitals/Rugby Club have been rocked by the departure of paceman Marcus Edwards and Brett Canham to Wykeham, while Dave Smith and Chris Bloomfield have been snapped up by Scalby, so Tim Elliott’s troops may be in for a tough season.
This probably leaves Muston and Stephen Smith’s Forge Valley 3rds as the other challengers for the title.
Sewerby 3rds, Whitby 3rds and Brompton 2nds all have plenty of promising young players, but they may struggle to maintain consistency if their senior teams need to regularly take their players away.
Opening fixtures: (1.30pm start)
Brompton 2nds v Muston, Flamborough v Forge Valley 3rds, Hospitals/Rugby Club v Sewerby 3rds, Lockton v Great Habton. No game: Whitby 3rds.
This looks to be a very keenly-contested division, despite the last-minute exit of Sewerby 4ths and Seamer 3rds due to a lack of players.
Bridlington 3rds were the form team towards the end of the season, and having missed out in 2013 they will probably be the team to look out for this time around.
Flixton 3rds and Kirkbymoorside 2nds were both pushing for promotion last season but fell away at the end of the campaign as they were hampered by senior team call-ups.
Bowler Liam Lowery is a key man for Flixton while youngster Jamie Griffin is one to watch with the ball for the Moorsiders.
The young Sherburn 2nds team will be eager to improve this season, but they have a very tough opener at newly-promoted Snainton, who rocketed up through division C after their first team resigned from the Beckett League, leaving the likes of first-team regular bowlers Leigh Watson, Rob Holt and James Wilson to shine in the lower levels of the Derwent Valley League.
Snainton may find it tougher this time around as Wilson has moved on to Wykeham and Holt is out injured but Watson is still available.
Nawton Grange 2nds have a new skipper in youngster George Bentley, but with the assistance of veteran Neil Ward they will also be a force to be reckoned with.
Filey 2nds also roared to promotion as champions last season, so they will be a contender this season if the likes of Paul Kempson and Lee Plant are on top batting form again.
Filey 2nds v Flixton 3rds, Nawton Grange 2nds v Kikrbymoorside 2nds, Snainton v Sherburn 2nds, Wold Newton 2nds v Bridlington 3rds.
After missing out on promotion by two points to Snainton last season, Cayton 3rds will be aiming to earn the title this time around.
John Best’s team will probably be pushed hard by their rivals from last season, Scalby 3rds, who will be led by new skipper Paul Danby.
Ravenscar 2nds’ hopes may be hampered by a knee injury to their player of the year from 2013, batsman Andy Edgar.
But if stalwart all-rounder Jon Stokoe can repeat his batting form from last season they may well be pushing for honours by the end of August.
Valley Bar Nomads, based at Burniston, will look to the experience of seamer Jim Hunter to keep them in the mix, while Wykeham 3rds have also strengthened.
Forge Valley 4ths v Thornton Dale 2nds, Muston 2nds v Ganton 2nds, Ravenscar 2nds v Cayton 3rds, Valley Bar Nomads v Wykeham 3rds. No game: Scalby 3rds.
Clubs can now sign on Hunmanby CC players after the club paid the due monies. Clubs are advised to contact Karen Maw if this is the case to confirm that they are ex-Hunmanby players.