MINUTES OF AGM OF NORTH WEST INTERMEDIATE RUGBY UNION LEAGUES.
MEETING HELD AT TYLDESLEY RUFC on MAY 23rd 2011
Committee members attending;
Peter Rhodes, F. W. Swarbrick, Reg Robinson, John Powell, Ian Cousins,
Howard Hughes, Tony Ayin, Jon Daldry.
From the clubs:
Barry Allen Broughton Park Ian Hollins Orrell
Paul Quare Burnage Clive Ennis Broughton
Barry Jubb Lostock Derek Hickman Carrington
David Burrows Colne & Nelson Bert Lambert Colne & Nelson
Eddie Wallbank Tyldesley Stuart Brame Carrington
David Todd Heaton Moor Neil Hawkley Marple
John Jeskins Heaton Moor Duncan Wise Carrington
Karl Lawrinson Leigh Mike Hilary Leigh
Apologies received: Greg King, Craig Hine, Ron Hall, Andy Thompson.
Meeting commenced 20.00 hrs.
Chairman, Fred Swarbrick opened the meeting by welcoming all attendees to the 8th AGM of the North West Intermediate Rugby Union Leagues. He stressed that they were OUR leagues meaning that they were the property of all players and supporters of Rugby Union throughout the North West. He explained that the bad weather in the mid part of the season had resulted in the cancellation of Raging Bull Trophy, Shield and Plate competitions but the Cup was able to continue with ties played midweek under lights. Sadly John Adams has left the committee but will still be available in an advisory capacity if required. We are fortunate to have Tony Ayin who is prepared to out himself for election as replacement for John. Reg Robinson and Barry Allen deserve much credit for re-arranging over 600 games due to the weather and keeping all clubs and referee societies properly informed. 19 teams had been lost through the season and 2 first teams have now re-joined the RFU leagues and go with our good wishes. To date fewer applications to join the leagues than required to replace lost teams so possibly division 5 may not have a full complement of 4 x 14 teams. However it is quite possible that some late applications may be received. Fred told the meeting that the Presentation Dinner had gone well with 256 people attending. Congratulations to all winners and good luck to all for the coming season. All our sponsors University of Salford, Raging Bull and Bateman BMW will be supporting us for at least another year so thanks to them. He welcomed a new helper in Colin Durkin who has volunteered to assess some of our Association Refs after completing his commitments to the Manchester referees Society. Many thanks also to all refs, supporters and players who make this organisation the success that it is. Fred confirmed to the meeting that all committee members were prepared to stand for re-election to their current responsibilities if the membership so desire.
Reg Robinson reported on the 600 + games that he and Barry Allen had been forced to re-arrange and thanked Barry for his continued and much valued assistance. According to the wishes of the majority of the Premiership teams the conference system will continue into next season. New league structure will soon be available but fixtures cannot be made until the RFU announce their fixtures. There is hope for some co-operation from the RFU in adjusting the matrix to allow a better match with our 14 team leagues. He warned the meeting that they should expect to consider 2 rule changes for the coming season. He explained the problem recently experienced with Blackpool RUFC where a friendly was played at the expense of a scheduled league game.
He assured the clubs that if a request for a postponement was made in good time the Committee will always do their best to help out where possible. He noted that Clitheroe 1 and Pendle 1 have joined the RFU leagues for next season and wished them luck.
John Powell presented audited accounts to the membership stating that income was slightly up on last year due to the rise in fees but expenditure had remained broadly the same. There were some variations due to the cancellation of the Raging Bull Trophy, Shield and Plate competitions but the tended to balance out. Sponsorship monies received from Bateman BMW was down due to a miss-calculation on their VAT commitment but this would now be corrected. In general the accounts look pretty healthy and there is no need for a rise in fees this year.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Peter Rhodes was formally voted in as President.
Tony Ayin was voted on to the Committee as Commercial Manager.
Barry Jubb proposed the all the standing Committee should be re-elected en-bloc.
Seconded by John Jeskins.
Dave Cunningham (Warrington RUFC) proposed the removal of the first sentence of Rule 13.
Seconded by Reg Robinson.
Reg explained that although the spirit of the leagues should remain unchanged to have this rule as it now stands causes an untold amount of work and is very difficult to prove. Furthermore it is believed that team loading happens more often but if no complaints are received no action can be taken. Barry Jubb asked for a clarification of “valid reason” if a match of a higher team cannot be played. Examples were given with the main one being unplayable pitches. John Jeskins also asked for clarification on parts of the wording. Reg let it be known that the Committee were in favour of this change.
When put to the vote the motion was carried with a large majority. 5 members abstained.
Dave Cunningham proposed an addition to Rule 10 (d)
Seconded by Matt Whitely (Village Spartans RUFC)
Proposed change “Any team that goes un-contested must remove a player from the pitch. In the event that the opposition lose a player who cannot be replaced there is no requirement to remove another player form the side that has gone un-contested.
Karl Lawrinson was very concerned of the safety aspects of introducing this rule. I may encourage players who are not properly experienced to join the front row. John Jeskins was concerned that a player carrying an injury may continue to play front row unwisely injuring himself further. Ian Cousins pointed out that some teams ask for un-contested scrums as a tactical measure and not because of genuine injury. This was accepted but the safety issue was more important. Stuart Brame suggested that if this proposal was defeated league secretaries should monitor teams going un-contested carefully and teams who use this measure frequently should be investigated.
When put to the vote this proposal was rejected by a large majority.
RAGING BULL KNOCK OUT COMPETITIONS
No draw was made for the Raging Bull Cup competitions as the committee are considering regionalising the early rounds and possible other small changes to try and reduce the number of byes and concedes.
Eddie Wallbank asked if the Premiership could be either 12 or 16 teams to avoid there being odd numbers of teams in the conference part of the season meaning that each week 2 teams have no game. It was felt that 12 teams would not produce enough games whereas 16 would be too many to fit into a standard season. It may be possible to split the league 8 & 6. It is thought that some teams prefer to have the occasional rest week. The committee will canvas opinion from the affected teams and come to a conclusion.
Paul Quare noted that the meeting had not yet approved the minutes of the 2010 AGM. He proposed that the minutes should be accepted as printed. Seconded by Barry Jubb.
David Todd asked if teams had been travelling to Carlisle without any problems. Reg. Robinson said that apart from the early part of the season when 2 teams conceded away games at Carlisle the remainder of the season had seen teams visit there as scheduled. It was also asked if the proposed re-organisation of Cumbria rugby would adversely affect our fixtures. Fred Swarbrick said he had canvassed opinion from the clubs concerned and was confident that they all wanted to stay with us.
Barry Jubb proposed a vote of thank to the Committee for their efforts. Seconded by Mike Hillary.
Meeting closed at 21.05