All out at the county’s oldest cricket league

What is believed to be the oldest cricket league in Northumberland has been bowled out after 125 years.

The Alnwick and District League, founded in 1889, has been wound up due to a shortage of teams.

Last season ended with only eight teams in the league and this was reduced to seven earlier this year when Mitford joined the West Tyne League, leaving only Embleton, Rock, Wooler, Warenford, Howick and Alnmouth and Warkworth Seconds.

While the league has been disbanded, its name will live on as it has been incorporated into the restructured Northumberland League with the remaining seven teams playing in a 12-team third division.

“It’s a shame the league has folded in its 125th year but we had no other option,” said secretary Stephen Mills. “There was nothing else we could do; some clubs would probably have gone out of existence without a proper league and this could not have been achieved with so few members.”

The demise of the league has not come as a surprise as membership has gradually dwindled in recent years for a variety of reasons. But it is not that long ago that the league flourished with two divisions of 12 teams. How times have changed!

Howick CC representative Robert Jamieson echoed the league secretary’s sentiments. “While it’s sad to see the league go under, the decision to join the Northumberland League has secured the immediate future of those clubs that wanted to continue playing league cricket.”

For the record, Tillside were the first league champions in 1889 and, by coincidence, also the last in 2013.