Harrogate and District League angers football clubs by axing three cup competitions

Kirk Deighton Rangers in action in the Harrogate and District League

Kirk Deighton Rangers in action in the Harrogate and District League

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The Harrogate and District League has caused uproar amongst its teams by controversially cancelling three cup competitions at the semi-final stage.

Due to a fixture back log, the league has decided to axe the Senior Cup, Intermediate Cup and Alverton Trophy for the 2015/16 season.

Following a winter dogged by postponements, more than half of the league games in the Premier Division have yet to be played. The season must be completed by the end of April.

Kirk Deighton Rangers were due to face league leaders Rawdon Old Boys in the Senior Cup semi-final, with Kirkby Malzeard and Wetherby Athletic in the other side of the draw.

Both games had been scheduled for March 19 but will now be played out as league matches.

Clubs were informed of the decision by an email from league secretary Duncan Sunley on Thursday evening.

The email read: "Hi Kirk Deighton, Kirkby Malzeard, Wetherby Ath and Rawdon Old Boys. It is with regret that the committee have decided to cancel the Senior Cup, Intermediate Cup and Alverton Trophy for the season.

"The two scheduled cup games will become league games."

Deighton boss Dan Marshall voiced his anger on social media, saying: "To sack off three cup competitions that have reached the semi final in favour of keeping ONE that hasn't reached the QF stage is a joke!

Kirkby Malzeard tweeted: "No explanation, emailed with no reason and not to be consulted. Now to explain to 15 lads.

"Struggle to see the logic behind 1/4 finals taking priority over semi finals."

Honorary secretary Mike Greenwood said: "Regrettably some decisions have to be made. Duncan and his committee are to be congratulated on taking a difficult decision!"

Hampsthwaite United were knocked out of the Senior Cup by Rawdon in the quarter finals but added their disgust at the decision and called for it to be changed.

The official Hampsthwaite account tweeted: "We are saddened to see H&DAFL cancel all Divisional Cups. We hope this decision is reviewed by Harrogate League & ultimately reversed. "