Liverpool and District Cricket Competition
|Format||Time (target 110 overs per game)|
|First Edition||1850 (informally), 1892 (known as 'Liverpool Competition'), 2000 (ECB Premier League)|
|Number of teams||12 (ECB Premier League), 12 (First division), 12 (Second division)|
|Current champion||Northern CC|
The Liverpool and District Cricket Competition is regarded by some as the top level of competition for recreational club cricket in the Liverpool area and since 2000 has been a designated ECB Premier League.
The Competition operates a three divisional system with Premier, First and Second Divisions. The Southport and District Amateur Cricket League is its feeder league.
Although many of the district's clubs had met regularly as far back as 1850, or earlier, it was not until 1892 that a Liverpool newspaper began publishing a weekly table and calling it the Liverpool Competition to create more interest in the game.
Neston were offered first team fixtures in 1908 and, in 1919, Hightown and Southport and Birkdale joined whilst Wallasey took over the fixtures of the Rock Ferry club who did not resume after the First War. Boughton Hall (later known as Chester Boughton Hall) were invited to join in 1923.
The Competition continued until 1947 when it was decided to admit a sixteenth club and Preston were voted in. Two years later, fixtures were standardised by all clubs agreeing to meet each other, and although there was no suggestion of a league, it was decided to regard the table as official.
Preston resigned at the end of the 1952 season to be replaced by St Helens Recs in 1953.
In recent years, the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition has changed radically. There was an expansion in 1996 that introduced clubs from further afield in Lancashire and North Wales but saw founder members Birkenhead Park, Chester Boughton Hall, Neston and Oxton resign to join the Cheshire County Cricket League for the 1998 season. Of the four, only Oxton had failed to be champions of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition.
From the end of the 2004 season, promotion from and relegation to the Merseyside and Southport Cricket Alliance feeder league was introduced, but was then curtailed from the end of the 2009 season. At this time, additional clubs from the Alliance were 'invited' to join, to form a new three divisional structure.
Moorfield and Southport Trinity resigned to return to the Merseyside Competition and Southport League respectively for 2012. Birkenhead Park (returning) and Old Xaverians (Merseyside Competition) elected to replace them.
Spring View from the Bolton and District Cricket Association joined the Second Division in 2013.
In 2014, Hightown merged with former Merseyside Competition outfit Crosby St. Mary's (formerly known as St Mary's Old Boys CC) and became Hightown St. Mary's. At the start of the 2014 season (as Hightown) they negotiated an unusual 'double relegation' from the Premier division into division 2, following the loss of several players to, among others, Southport & Birkdale CC. The club argued they would not be able to compete in Division 1 due to playing strength. The league agreed to the request and a severely weakened 1st XI won just one league game in Division 2 during the 2014 season. The following year, buoyed by the merger and the recruitment of several players, the club finished 7th with a total of 10 wins.
For over thirty years Liverpool Competition legend Ian Cockbain snr played his club cricket at Bootle before retiring at the end of the 2008 season aged 50. During the winter of 2012-2013, he was persuaded by a friend to come out of retirement and join his club Formby, where Cockbain now lives, with a view to captaining the side in 2014 and, with his vast experience, hopefully take them from the First Division into the ECB Premier League for 2015, the year of the club's 150th anniversary. On the last day of the 2014 season, Formby were proclaimed champions, winning the division by twenty points and thus fulfilling the club's dream for 2015. He retired at the end of the 2017 season.
2nd XIs play in a similar three divisional structure but independent of the 1st XIs.
There is a two divisional structure for Saturday 3rd XIs and below, with another structure for those clubs preferring to play on Sundays. They have four Divisions, North East, North West, South East and South West.
1st XI Divisions for 2018
Second Division: Alder, Caldy, Hightown St Mary's, Maghull, Northop Hall, Old Xaverians, Parkfield Liscard, St Helens Town, Skelmersdale, Southport Trinity, Spring View, and Sutton (St Helens).
Performance by season from 2000
|Newton le Willows||12||10||8||11|
|St Helens Recreation||12||14|
|Southport and Birkdale||12||11||9||12||12||7||9||10||11||11|
- "ECB Premier League - 2000".
- "ECB Premier League - 2001".
- "ECB Premier League - 2002".
- "ECB Premier League - 2003".
- "ECB Premier League - 2004".
- "ECB Premier League - 2005".
- "ECB Premier League - 2006".
- "ECB Premier League - 2007".
- "ECB Premier League - 2008".
- "ECB Premier League - 2009".
- "ECB Premier League - 2010".
- "ECB Premier League - 2011".
- "ECB Premier League - 2012".
- "ECB Premier League - 2013".
- "ECB Premier League - 2014".
- "ECB Premier League - 2015".
- "ECB Premier League - 2016".
- "ECB Premier League - 2017".