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In January 2001, the most successful pool team in the history of the Clitheroe and District Pool League were expelled from the league. The Starkie's Sharks, formerly The Kings Arms, were expelled from the league for declining to represent the league at Super league level (Starkie's Sharks used the only form of protestation available to them which was to decline to play Super league pool.  This was done because of the bigoted, puerile nature of the committee, whose members seemed to take great delight in punishing them with inconsistent, irrational decisions). 

  As news of the Sharks expulsion was spread (no, it’s not Lard!), Super league teams within Lancashire were putting out feelers to see if they could tempt any of the 5 players who were now free agents.  Gossipmongers placed all 5 of the Sharks at most teams within the Lancashire Super league but the feeling amongst the lads was that they wanted was to stay together and, if possible, form their own team within the Super league.

  As Thursday nights were now free, the Sharks played pool amongst themselves and through idle chitchat, the idea of forming their own league was hatched.   A committee was quickly formed and various ideas about the format of the league were discussed.  Several ideas were also forwarded as to what we should call the league and it was unanimously decided to call it the, “East Lancs... Pool League” (E. L. P. L.) (it was decided to make the E. L. P. L. an invitation league so we could prevent known idiots who would give the league a bad name from playing.  Lets face it, you wouldn’t want somebody who gets arrested at pool matches to represent your league at Super league level would you?). 

  News of the formation of the league was relayed to committee members of the Lancashire Pool Association and they decided to offer them a place in the 2001 Super league, which they gratefully accepted.  The only problem they now had was where could they play our Super league matches?  Lancashire secretary, Mr. Nathan Bridges, suggested we look at the Rishton Arms, Rishton, as a possible venue.  This turned out to be an excellent suggestion and they were delighted when the licensee agreed to let them play from there.  Even though the league was known as the E. L. P. L. it was decided to call our representative team the Rishton Sharks.

 The 2001 Super league went relatively well for the Rishton Sharks as they remained unbeaten, top Group B and they were also the first team to qualify for the Super league finals to be played at Gt. Yarmouth in October (the mini tournament was played at Riley’s Pool & Snooker Club, Blackpool).

League matches within the E. L. P. L. commenced on the 25 of July and though there were only 5 teams, it could boast 10 county players (5 of these have had England trials!).  The league was played in a friendly manner and as you can see by the names of the teams involved, it was a bit of fun.  The 5 teams were,

1. Boars head Bar stewards
2. Lower Buck Lions
3. Punch Inn Boxers
4. Starkie's Sharks
5. Starkie's Storm

 Hopefully in 2002 they will increase the league to about 10 teams and who knows, they might even be able to have a second Super league team!

References

http://elpl.uk8ball.co.uk/town_team.htm Rishton Sharks Home Page (Now defunct)