THE group stages of the Peter Stafford Competition will conclude on Sunday July 29, apart from Horwich first team, who will be participating in the National T20 Area semi-final and final, and Bradshaw second team as their club are hosting that event.

The Bolton League winner will play Moorside, last year's winner of the now defunct Pennine League, with the winners of that match facing Ormskirk from the Liverpool Competition or the Northern League winners in the final.

With two matches played, all five of the first-team Peter Stafford groups are in a similar position. with one team having won two matches, two having won one each and one team without a point.

The only exception are Daisy Hill who were deducted a point for failing to fulfill one of the second-team fixtures.

Qualification for the quarter-finals is similar to the T20 qualification with the five group winners going through along with the three runners-up with most points.

At the moment Walkden, Bradshaw, Horwich, Kearsley and Farnworth have maximum points.

In Farnworth's group the runner-up will be Golborne or Farnworth Social Circle, who play each other and who have one win apiece to date.

The remaining team in the group Eagley cannot qualify.

Eagley are the only one of the 20 clubs who definitely cannot qualify.

While it is likely a team will need four points to stand a reasonable chance of qualification, should there be a number of groups where one team wins all three matches and the other three teams one match each, one victory coupled with a decent run rate could be enough.

In the second teams, Darcy Lever, Bradshaw, Heaton and Farnworth SC lead their groups, while Kearsley and Astley Bridge share the lead with two wins each.

Clifton, who defeated Walkden in the quarter-final, are now the sole survivors from the Greater Manchester region in the Lancashire Knockout quarter-finals.

The Merseyside region have two from the the Liverpool Competition – Northern and Ormskirk – while the Lancashire region boast five – Leyland and Netherfield from the Northern League and Walsden, Darwen and Rochdale from the Lancashire League, although perhaps it should be noted none of their three were part of the Lancashire League up to two years ago.

The indications are the competition will be streamlined, with less clubs taking part, either from 2019 or the following season.


When players retire, some just fade away, others put something back into the game by umpiring, coaching, helping on the ground or assisting with the administration. Some can do more than that.

Last week my wife Sue and I went to Jersey for a few days.

As usual after a couple of days she decided it was time to visit a local cricket ground.

I remembered from when we went there a quarter of a century ago most teams play on adjacent pitches maintained by the council.

But after a bit of research Sue found a new club, the only one with its own pavilion.

I was expecting something small and homely, with changing rooms and perhaps a small bar.

The first things I saw on arriving at the ground were the sightscreens, double at either end, mechanically operated, white on one side and black on the other for the white ball matches.

The pitch itself was immaculate, around the size of Westhoughton's, with the outfield in better condition than many of the squares at clubs in Lancashire.

The groundsman was riding a piece of machinery I have never seen outside Test grounds.

There were two scoreboards, one electronic, a separate canteen for the players, a bar, leather seats in the changing rooms and a bathroom in the scorebox.

After walking around the ground and inspecting the square, I went for a chat with Jimmy the groundsman and asked how the club had managed to get funding for facilities above minor county standard.

He explained he had approached the sponsors whose boards were around the ground, and the bar made a small profit.

When pressed further he modestly admitted he had donated the field in 2012 and paid for pretty much everything.

The club pay him a nominal rent and in return he maintains the pitch and surrounds and is the volunteer barman.