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Theakston Nidderdale League: 2018 opening round preview

Ouseburn CC, Theakston Nidderdale League champions 2017. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Ouseburn CC, Theakston Nidderdale League champions 2017. Picture: Caught Light Photography

The 2018 Theakston Nidderdale League season gets underway on Saturday (April 28), a week later than originally scheduled.

The recent wet weather left groundsmen across the country battling the elements in a race against time to have pitches fit for play, thus TNL officials followed the likes of the York Senior League in delaying the first round of fixtures by seven days.

Reigning champions Ouseburn begin the defence of their title at home to newly-promoted Dacre Banks, while 2017 runners-up Masham entertain Knaresborough Forest, who only narrowly avoided relegation last time out.

The other newcomers to the top flight, Wath & Melmerby, welcome Bishop Thornton, Darley travel to West Tanfield and Birstwith visit Goldsborough.

In Division Two, last year’s Wetherby League title-winners Kirk Deighton make their TNL debut at Alne, demoted at the end of the previous campaign.

Relegated Spofforth play host to Harrogate 3rds who finished up as third division champions last term, Raskelf tackle Markington and Scotton go to Studley Royal 2nds.

The 2017 Division Three runners-up Killinghall begin their season at home to Pateley Bridge and Blubberhouses make the trip to Burnt Yates.