After much consideration the LWC Drinks Cornwall Cricket League has approved a request from Helston Cricket Club that their first team be demoted to County Division 1 for the 2018 season.

Callington Cricket Club have agreed to replace them in the ECB Cornwall Premier League, after three seasons outside of the top flight.

Last year's skipper Dan Jenkin and Gavin Tregenza have both joined Troon, while teenager Tommy Sturgess has moved to Penzance. Tom Retallack has moved away from the area.

Helston finished bottom in 2017, winning only three games, but were not relegated as the Premier League was increased from 10 to 12 teams.

Jenkin and Tregenza will now face their old club when Troon host them on Saturday, May 5.

In a letter to the league, Helston CC stated: “We lost two of our first team players during the early part of the close season. We were confident of replacing them (and had made one signing) but were shaken when our captain announced that he too was leaving the club.

"Since then the committee and first and second team captains have done their best to sound out any potential players however, to date, we have had no success.

"We have a core of Premier players but our second team finished near the relegation zone in Division 3 West last year so the gap between our second team and the standard required to play in the Premier League is far too great. It would be unrealistic of us to expect them to be playing in the first team every week.

“We are aware that there is still time to strengthen the team however doing so would take us beyond the point at which a swap was possible. Failure to sign any additional players would undoubtedly result in a complete withdrawal of the team. As well as being bad for the League it would be disastrous for our club.

"We were forced to withdraw from the Premier League in 2005 and it took 11 years and five promotions to get back there again. Were we to lose the first team we would lose almost all of the remaining players we have; these would include the coaches for our youth teams meaning we would struggle to provide youth coaching; the current groundstaff, with family connections, also might not wish to continue; and finally the promising young players we currently have in our lower teams may well move on as they would have no higher level of cricket in the club to aspire to.”

The league has considered the situation at length, aware that the January 1 deadline has passed for the confirmation of divisions and the draft fixtures have been published.

However, having just moved to a 12- team Premier League, they felt the integrity of the competition was at stake and want to avoid a bye each week in the top flight.

In addition a fortunate key factor was that a swap of teams was possible without having too big an effect on the fixturing schedule for the rest of the League.

Only five of the 148 teams have a major fixtures rewrite with the other teams, in the three affected divisions (Premier, County 1 & Division 3 West), just facing a change of opponent on a couple of match days. The other ten divisions remain unaltered.

It is a similar scenario to four years ago when Paul withdrew from the Premier League at the end of March, due to player numbers, with Redruth and Penzance receiving relegation reprieves from the Premier and County Division 1 respectively. On that occasion the re-fixturing was also minimal due to the matrix fortunately falling into place.

Callington now take over Camborne’s fixtures in the Premier League; Camborne take over Helston’s fixtures and Helston replace Callington in the County Division 1 schedule.

Callington seconds fixtures in Division 2 East remained unaltered as their matrix number is unaltered.

In Division 3 West, Camborne Seconds and Helston seconds swap fixtures, to ensure home and away opposites with their first elevens.