NWCFL clubs have to think again after one-off cup competition is cancelled

Garstang FC and Longridge Town have been forced into alternative plans following the cancellation of the Heys Invitational Cup.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 8:00 am

The competition had been devised by Prestwich Heys to provide teams with competitive football following a second consecutive early end to the North West Counties Football League season as a result of the pandemic.

Matchday one was initially due to take place last weekend, only to be put back seven days to avoid a clash with Prince Philip’s funeral.

However, Heys announced late last week the event was cancelled altogether because of what it described as ‘unforeseen circumstances.’

Garstang FC have been forced into alternative plans Picture: John Shirras
Garstang FC have been forced into alternative plans Picture: John Shirras

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It added: “The club would like to thank everyone involved in the planning of this tournament, especially the clubs involved.”

The plan had been to have 16 teams playing in four groups over three consecutive weekends before quarter-finals, a semi-final and a final.

Garstang were due to play in group one against Squires Gate, AFC Blackpool and Charnock Richard with the matches played at Gate’s Brian Addison Stadium.

Heys were scheduled to host group two, also featuring Chadderton, Northwich Victoria and Padiham.

Longridge was the host venue for group three, containing Ashton Town, Pilkington and St Helens Town.

Bootle had been set to host group four, including AFC Liverpool, Litherland REMYCA and Lower Breck.

The four host venues would also have staged a quarter-final, with the semis and final at Prestwich Heys.

The competition would have been a long-awaited return to action after the NWCFL season was suspended in December and then curtailed altogether last month.

Town have played two friendlies in the last week, beating Lostock St Gerards 3-1 thanks to Gidi, Scott Harries and Brandon Lee.

Last Saturday brought a 7-0 win against Ashton Town with Harries, Ben Fletcher, Lewis Fensome, Sam Harding, Liam Clegg, Joe Melling and Moses Yoak on target.

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