Shield bosses to listen to players

Ian Walling

Ian Walling

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The Moore and Smalley Palace Shield is inviting players to air their views about the league’s rules and regulations at a meeting next month.

Officials are keen to canvass opinion from those who play in the league in order to keep on improving it.

The Palace Shield, which was founded way back in 1902, is a thriving league.

It operates seven senior divisions on a Saturday and two Sunday divisions, and junior leagues from Under-10s upwards.

Dave Lever, secretary of the Palace Shield, told the Evening Post: “We always like to make sure we are getting opinion on the ground.

“Sometimes you have meetings and don’t get to the real root of the issue.

“The Palace Shield is a big set-up and there is an argument, for example, of a slightly longer format the top end of it.

“At the moment it is a 45-over game throughout the senior divisions.

“Taking into account different ability and size of grounds, there could be potential for making the games higher up a bit longer.

“We are not going to impose anything and have never tried to do that. If people are happy with things how they are, we will stick with it.”

The meeting takes place at BAC/EE Preston CC on Wednesday, August 20, starting at 7.30pm.

Tomorrow’s Palace Shield action sees Premier Division leaders Vernon Carus visit bottom club Withnell Fold.

Great Eccleston, in second spot, play host to fourth-place Garstang at Hall Lane.

Longridge, who have enjoyed a strong season, welcome Freckleton to the Newsham Memorial Ground.

It is looking like being a four-way challenge for the title with eight weeks of the season still to go.

Only 16 points separate first and fourth, with the leadership having changed hands on a number of occasions.

Meanwhile, a Palace Shield XI was taking part today in an inter-league tournament at Blackool’s Stanley Park.

It is a four-way battle between the Northern League, Lancashire League, Ribblesdale League and Palace Shield.

The action was getting underway at 10am with the Palace Shield taking on the Lancashire League.

That is followed by the Northern League versus the Ribblesdale League, with the winners meeting in the final.

Garstang’s Michael Walling is skippering the Palace Shield side with brother Ian, Longridge’s Danny Wilkinson, Richard Turner of Fulwood and Broughton and Vernon Carus wicket-keeper James McDonagh among those featuring.

Lukman Vahuwala from St Annes is captain of the Northern League side.

It is a competition which was first staged to celebrate the Preston Guild in 2012, with the Palace Shield winning it.

Last year, the Lancashire League triumphed at Nelson.