‘Fragmented’ opening weekend for league

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The Eskvale and Cleveland League returns to action on Saturday (Aug 23) with a fragmented opening weekend.

It has been a summer of disruption and change, with the final make-up of the league still uncertain.

The league has lost last season’s title winners, Staithes Athletic, who have moved into the Teesside League, while Hollybush United and Stokesley Sports Club were both unable to find team managers and withdrew from the league.

On a positive note, the league has two new teams in Dormanstown and Lakes United and they, along with all the competing teams, will be looking to impress and lift the title at the end of the season.

Lingdale will be looking to recapture the title, having missed out last season and with some of their nearest challengers from last season having gone, it will be interesting to see who has made sufficient changes to their squad to challenge this season.

Loftus Athletic will be hoping to improve on last season while Boosbeck and Great Ayton have strengthened and will look to improve on last season.

Brotton Railway Arms are another team who, having had a bad start last year, got better as the season progressed and with some new faces could be a force to be reckoned with.

Lealholm and Hinderwell will hope to continue their improvement as their squads go under some changes while Goldsborough are still struggling to form a side for this season.

Secretary Luke Hodgson said: “It is hoped they can get a team together as they are a long-standing club and it would be a real shame to lose yet another club.”