Cricket: Four clubs to make case in bid to join Lincolnshire ECB Premier League
The fate of four Lincolnshire cricket clubs will depend on the outcome of a meeting next month.
The Lincolnshire ECB Premier League will hold its annual meeting this month, when the committee must decide whether Scunthorpe, winners of the Lincolnshire League, and Spalding, winners of the South Lincs & Border League, meet the criteria to achieve promotion to the highest level of amateur cricket in the county.
If those teams receive a positive outcome, then Market Deeping and Boston, who finished at the bottom of the ECB Premier League last season, will drop out of the league.
"Both teams aspiring to enter the ECB Premier League will be invited to make a presentation at our general meeting," explained secretary Ann Boulton.
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"As winners of the feeder leagues, Scunthorpe and Spalding will automatically have the opportunity to apply to join this league.
"Their application will be considered and either ratified or declined at our meeting."
Chairman of Scunthorpe Cricket Club Richard Barwell believes his club is ready to take the step up.
"We are very keen to move up to the ECB Premier League, it is the pinnacle of cricket in Lincolnshire," said Barwell.
"We will be putting forward a robust and constructive case for our inclusion.
"The standards are high, but I think they need to be high and we will be doing our best to meet those standards."
Spalding captain Robert Ambrose is also confident his side can make the step up.
"We are hopeful and we think we are ready, but you never know what will happen," he said
"Four or five weeks ago we were not even in the picture, but we had a great run.
"I think we have the players too. We brought in three or four last season and I think we may go for an overseas player.
"I think you need to do that at ECB Premier level. The teams that don't seem to struggle.
"But we have worked very hard this year and I think we are more than ready for it."
With two clubs hoping to make the step up, it means two teams will have to make way, with Market Deeping and Boston in the firing line.
Boston skipper Tom Baxter expects his side to drop into the South Lincs & Border.
He believes the champions of that league, Spalding, deserve a place in the ECB Premier.
"I think we would need a couple of miracles to keep us in this league now," admitted Baxter, whose side finished at the foot of the table.
"Spalding deserve their chance. They have worked hard in 2012 and recruited smartly in the off-season.
"I feel we are not the worst team in that league, but the table is there for all to see. We will rebuild for 2013."