Cricket merger moves one step nearer

Garstang and Longridge could play Northern Premier League clubs if a merger is agreed with the Palace Shield
Garstang and Longridge could play Northern Premier League clubs if a merger is agreed with the Palace Shield
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Northern Premier League clubs have agreed – in principle – in favour of a merger with the Palace Shield.

But it is not yet a done deal as the ball has now been thrown back in the court of the Palace Shield clubs – including Garstang and Longridge – to say whether they are in favour of a go-ahead at their AGM.

If a merger was agreed then promotion and relegation between the two leagues would apply in time for the start of the 2018 season.

One potential sticking point has emerged; that concerns Cumbrian clubs Barrow and Penrith, who compete in the Northern Premier League.

Some Palace Shield clubs are said to have reservations of making such a lengthy away trip.

Another potential problem regarding a merger is that the Lancashire League may make overtures again to invite NPL clubs to take part in their set-up.

A previous attempt fell through after some NPL clubs showed initial interest about joining.