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28/03/2023

NCCU Nominations for ECF County Championships

 

The schedule of NCCU inter-county team matches is now complete and the NCCU has submitted its nominations for the ECF County Championships as follows:

 

Section

1st Nominee

2nd Nominee

Open

Northumberland

Greater Manchester

Under 2050

Yorkshire

Northumberland

Under 1850

Yorkshire

Greater Manchester

Under 1650

Yorkshire

Greater Manchester

Under 1450

Yorkshire

Greater Manchester

 

Detailed results on which these nominations are based can be found collated on the NCCU website here and on linked pages.

 

Traditionally, the first nominee meets another Union’s second nominee in the initial round of the corresponding ECF competition, and, as a correlate, the second nominee would expect to meet another Union’s first nominee, thus providing a sort of seeding system which was probably encapsulated in the rules in the past, though recent ECF practice has seemingly not followed this principle.

 

This is of course the first time in living memory that Yorkshire has not qualified in the Open section.  To be fair, that has long been due to usually only two counties entering the NCCU Open competition, meaning qualification was thence automatic.

 

Rather humorously, Yorkshire received the option of entering the ECF Minor Counties’ Competition.  These days this is an average-rating team competition - specifically for teams of players with an average rating of 2050.  In the past, the Minor Counties’ Competition was not rating/grading-limited and was open to counties who (in simple terms) had not in recent times won anything significant at ECF level.  This competition might attract better/more entries if the name were changed to reflect the modern format.  On this occasion Yorkshire declined the offer to declare itself to be a “minor” county!!

 

Congratulations are due to the captains for pulling things together so successfully.  This season, there were at least three teams in each section, so the two-team automatic qualification route did not exist this season.  And of course, however strong the player pool might be, the captaincy job involves a lot of hard work.