Braunton and Shebbear pull out of North Devon Cricket League
BRAUNTON'S first team have not been re-elected to the North Devon League – at the club's request.
Braunton had informed they league they wanted to pull the team out of the competition but were told only the second XI would be allowed to leave.
However, with the first team needing to seek re-election after failing to fulfil two fixtures last season, the other clubs decided at the league's annual meeting last week to allow them to be withdrawn.
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It means one of North Devon's leading cricket clubs will be represented only in the fourth division in 2013 – by Kelseymen, the name given to the second XI.
Braunton's first team finished bottom of the first division last season after having four points deducted from their average for conceding away matches against Sandford on June 17 an Hatherleigh on September 15.
Under the league's rules, any team failing to fulfil two or more fixtures during a season must seek re-election at the annual meeting.
Shebbear have also withdrawn from the league, ending 17 years as a member.
Having struggled to field a full team in recent years, they blamed in part the league's widening membership, arguing players were put off by trips to clubs in the Tiverton area, which made Sunday cricket an all-day rather than afternoon commitment.
Shebbear won successive promotions in 2008 and 2009, rising from the fourth to the second division where they finished sixth this year.
They hope to play Twenty20 cricket in May and June, when they can call on students from Shebbear College, and the occasional Sunday afternoon friendly.
Chittlehampton, who previously played only friendly matches, will join the league in the fifth division.