New plan in place to finish the season

NOW that the Government has laid down its road map grass roots football has been able to plan the conclusion to another very disrupted season caused by Covid 19.

The Lancashire & Cheshire League management committee has been doing plenty of work in looking at various options and decided to void the current league season in their eight divisions mainly due to the differences in fixtures completed by the teams.

The plan now is to run the four league cup competitions, originally in a divisional format, to give all of the teams the chance to play at least five fixtures followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and cup finals.

The Rhodes Cup, currently held by Salford Victoria, will be competed for by teams in the Premier and Division One in four groups of six teams, playing each other once with the top two teams in each group progressing to quarter finals.

The Wray Cup, currently held by Radclyffe FC, will feature teams in Division Two and Three in the same format and the Whitehead Cup, held by Chadderton Cott is for teams in Division A and B.

Finally the Hellawell Shield, held by Irlam Tigers Rangers, will see teams from Division C and D in competition.

The draw will soon be made and fixtures secretary Malc Kershaw will then plan the schedule which will begin on April 10 with quarter-finals planned for May 15.

The league will provide linesmen for the quarter finals and as usual the semi-finals and finals will be on neutral grounds with officials provided by the league.

Malc Kershaw said: “We will look for the group matches to be played on Saturdays, avoiding midweek games where possible and there will be some adjustments where teams share pitches.

“Referees secretary Stephen Howard is confident that he has enough officials to cover the busy programme and hopefully we will not be affected by bad weather and more Covid restrictions as we look to provide an exciting and competitive end to another very difficult and frustrating season.”

The clubs will all be given detailed information of the draw, rules etc for the planned programme as soon as possible giving them the opportunity to play some friendly games in preparation for the cup competitions.