This year there are nine mini-groups, 8 groups x 4 teams plus 1 group of 3 teams. Only 35 teams are participating. (Christleton opted-out).
'Minimising travel' leads to the inclusion of two Premier clubs in three groups. [That said two of those clubs were Division 1 sides in 2017]. Group 3 has no Premier clubs included.
All 35 clubs have been given a seed based on their overall 2017 position in the CCCL pyramid. (This is the first number within the bracket)
Within each group each club has then been re-seeded based on their pyramid seed. For example in Group 1 Oxton were 21st in the pyramid (9th in Div 1) and therefore allocated 4th seed within that group recognising the other three clubs had pyramid seeds of 1, 5 & 19.
Each team in Groups 1-8 will play three matches. To encourage competitive cricket those clubs classified as the 3rd and 4th seed will have two home matches. The 1st and 2nd seeds only one.
Matches will be scheduled as follows -
4 v 1
3 v 2
2 v 4
3 v 1
1 v 2
4 v 3
If the seeding works this format should minimise 'dead rubbers' and bring the top seeds together in the final round of matches.
With nine groups an inter-group play-off is inevitable to establish the quarter finalists. A hat-draw will be arranged to decide which group has to play the Group 9 winners for a place in the quarter finals. Again, recognising the need to minimise travel one the East group winners (5-8) will provide the opposition.
Group1 .........CBH (1/1), Neston (5/2), Oxton (21/4) & Upton (19/3)
Group 2.........Grappenhall (9/1), Runcorn (37/4), Warrington (23/3) & Widnes (15/2)
Group 3.........Alvanley (27/3), Davenham (18/1), Northwich (31/4) & Weaverham (24/2)
Group 4.........Barrow (25/3), Nantwich (2/1), Oulton Pk (13/2) & Tattenhall (33/4)
Group 5 ........Brooklands (29/4), Didsbury (7/1), Sale (22/3) & Urmston (20/2)
Group 6.........Bowdon (12/3), Cheadle (10/2), Hale Barns (38/4) & Timperley (6/1)
Group 7 ........Hyde (11/1), Marple (14/2), Stockport (26/3) & Romiley (28/4)
Group 8.........Bramhall (8/2), Lindow (30/3), Mobberley (32/4) & Toft (4/1)
Group 9.........Alderley Edge ( 3/1), Bollington (16/2) & Macclesfield (17/3)
The mini-group matches will be played at the home grounds of the team identified first in the fixture schedule but the perceived advantage of hosting the play-off match and the quarter-finals will be subject to separate draws to be arranged by the Competition Secretary. (The witnessed draws were conducted after the AGM at Bowdon on 16 January 2018).
Finals day will be hosted by one of the four finalists. Again a draw will determine the host club.
So that as many fixtures as possible can be played if a match cannot get underway because of inclement weather it MUST be re-arranged by mutual agreement within the next six days. If a convenient date cannot be found the default date is the following WEDNESDAY.
The League Umpire Appointments Secretary (Geoff Young) will be responsible for the umpiring appointments and notifications. He can be contacted on 01355/755881 or email@example.com).
For all other matters please contact the 1st XI Cup Competition Secretary, Geoff Wellsteed.
If a match is defaulted the fine is £50 (see ‘Rate of Fines’ section elsewhere in the handbook). The defaulting club will also be excluded from the following season’s competition.
All matches will be played using pink balls (platinum Plus grade only).
Click here for the full fixture list