CRICKET: All change in ECB Premier following Skegness withdrawal

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The Readers Lincolnshire ECB Premier League will go into 2017 with two new teams following the unexpected withdrawal of Skegness CC from the league.

At the AGM, South Lincolnshire and Border League winners Spalding were automatically promoted and bottom side Nettleham returned to the Lincolnshire County Cricket League, while 11th placed Grimsby Town retained their Premier League status.

However, having lost a large number of top players at the end of the season, Skegness became aware that they would have difficulty fielding a side of Premier League strength and notified the league that they would have to withdraw.

This opened the way for Alford CC to be offered – and accept – a place in the league, Nettleham having decided that they would prefer not to be re-instated. Alford finished second in the LCCL but the strict ECB criteria for Premier Leagues meant that winners Cherry Willingham were unable to be promoted.

Alford and Spalding – who have returned to the top flight only one year after demotion – will now contest the ECB Premier League alongside Boston, Bracebridge Heath, Bourne, Grantham, Grimsby Town, Louth, Lindum, Market Deeping, Sleaford and Woodhall Spa.