The 2016 cricket season will be Knaresborough Cricket Club’s last in association with the Aire-Wharfe League after securing support to move into the new pyramid system.
Knaresborough were accepted into the York and District Senior Cricket League (YDSCL) at an emergency general meeting on Monday night.
As expected, YDSCL clubs voted in favour of Knaresborough with the vote counting 69 votes to eight.
“It shows a lot of good support and we are pleased with that,” said Knaresborough stalwart Jonathan Corcoran.
Knaresborough will filter into YDSCL Division One next season, leaping above the likes of Ripon, Thirsk and 2015 Nidderdale League champions Pannal who all play in the newly created Galtres Division Two.
Knaresborough considered its future after the creation of the new county-wide pyramid structure to replace the old Yorkshire League.
The structure, which has four county premiers and tiered feeder leagues, omitted the Aire-Wharfe League due to ‘extreme geographical details’.
Historically, Knaresborough have been one of the stronger members of the Aire-Wharfe League.
But in recent years, the first team has struggled to replicate former glories and have been playing in Division Two since 2013.
Corcoran believes the ambitious choice to switch leagues will attract better players to Aspin Lane in the future.
“Everyone we speak to seems to be talking favourably about it, so we hope that will encourage players to the club,” he said.
“We have been bold and we are carrying it out. We want to be successful and to make sure our club is playing the best standard of cricket we can.
“At the moment, the team is not where we want it but our aim is to put things in place to improve it.”
Knaresborough begin the new Aire-Wharfe campaign away at Thackley this Saturday. Neil Marshall has taken on the captaincy for 2016 and a number of signings at his disposal.
Sam Davies has joined from Harrogate to front up the bowling attack, while Ben Cutts (Killinghall) and James Kean (Spofforth) have been recruited from the Nidderdale League.
However, last year’s captain Simon Bridson has joined Division One outfit Bilton.
Wicket-keeper batsman Kiefer Pieres, 18, is Knaresborough’s overseas player.
On Marshall’s leadership, Corcoran added: “He will be very studious and very prepared. His knowledge of the game is very good and I think he will have a good season.”