THE Aire-Wharfe League definitely put on their Sunday best in 2019, with matches galore for the crowds to enjoy.

In the 2019 season, there were nine third-team games in which there was no play due to weather but there were MORE fixtures not started (13) in the long, dry summer of 2018.

Secretary Matthew Grimes' second annual report also revealed that there were seven third-team matches that were started but not finished this season, compared to eight in 2018.

There was a contrast on Saturdays, however, where 124 first or second-team games were not started compared to just 59 in 2018.

It was an even worse ratio for Saturday games that were started but not finished, with 94 this year and only 35 in 2018.

Conceded second XI matches were down from seven in 2018 to four this year, while 10 third-team games were conceded.

There were also 14 instances of Saturday teams being short-handed in 2019 - the same as last year - with four teams being two players down and 10 one player short.

Two second-team matches were forfeited compared to nine in 2018, while eight third-team league matches were forfeited, plus two Ian Chappell Cup ties.

Saltaire's first team were deducted 20 points for failing to ensure that their captain had a DBS certificate, but it did not stop them from winning Division Two by 60 points.

Meanwhile, matchday over rates were improved throughout the league, with only 13 warning letters being sent compared to 36 in 2018.

In his address to the annual meeting at Otley Rugby Union Football Club, Grimes thanked Sue Powell and her team (Caroline and Zoe) for helping to organise the league's three cup finals.

He said: "It is a massive weight off our shoulders."

Retiring president Graham Fuller thanked the league's sponsors and cup final hosts, as well as umpires' appointments secretary Dave Bell.

A member of the league's executive committee for 15 years and league president for three years, Fuller said: "Both have been satisfying and rewarding, but I have some bad news for you - it is my intention to carry on as an umpire."

He was presented with a cut-glass decanter and two cut-glass whisky glasses as well as a plaque in recognition of his service to the league.

Ian Chappell Cup draw - Preliminary round: Saltaire v Green Lane, Calverley v Beckwithshaw, Ilkley v Menston. Matches to be played on Sunday, April 26.

First round: Pool v Horsforth, Horsforth Hall Park v Saltaire or Green Lane, New Rover v Calverley or Beckwithshaw, Steeton v St Chad's Broomfield, North Leeds v Ilkley or Menston, Guiseley v Otley, Burley v Rawdon, Olicanian v Adel. Matches to be played on Sunday, May 17.