Blackbrook and East Leeds sanctioned by NCL

NCL chiefs met delegates of Blackbrook and East Leeds, both of whom have failed to fulfil fixtures recently, on Tuesday evening and Administrator Alan Smith has confirmed the verdicts regarding each club.

He said: “East Leeds were fined £500 for non-fulfilment of a fixture and deducted four points at the start of next year’s campaign, but they will retain their Division Two status after the club’s representatives convinced the NCL Management that there were mitigating circumstances to their no-show.

“Blackbrook are being relegated from Division One to Division Three, with the travel grant to be paid back in full and fines totalling £1000 to be paid in agreed stages, over the next two years, plus a £500 suspended fine.

“The fines are £500 to be paid by 31 December 2017, and another £500 to be paid by 31 December 2018, with £500 suspended for two years to 31 December 2019.

“This decision effectively saves Leigh East from relegation as two teams will go down from Division Two and Three will be promoted from Division Three.”

Smith continued: “However they (Blackbrook) have until 6 November to convince the NCL Management that they have a sustainable club that can meet the criteria for being in the National Conference League with regards to playing personnel commitment, financial stability and a viable and fully integrated youth set-up. If they fail to do so then they could well face expulsion.

“Blackbrook will make their presentation on 6 November to the NCL Management Committee.”

Two new teams, meanwhile, could be involved next season. Smith revealed: “The Management Group also discussed  applications to join the NCL for 2018 from Beverley and Queensbury, both clubs have been visited and been vetted by the NCL Management, and the current member clubs are now invited to add their own comments of support or otherwise to me by email before the final verdict on the applicants suitability is delivered.”