Field is full well in advance

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BARRY Isles has been overwhelmed by a demand for places in the field for the opening Halifax, Huddersfield Alliance event of 2011.

The Alliance secretary has a full field of 64 pairs - plus two players on the waiting list - even though the event at Crosland Heath doesn’t take place until Tuesday, January 22.

It is in marked contrast to the first event of the season, at Marsden in September when a paltry 14 pairs took part.

Isles reckons a two-month gap between meetings has served to whet players’ appetites.

The sixth and last Alliance event of the first half of the season took place at Elland in mid-November. There should have been a seventh, a Christmas event at Hebden Bridge, but that was eventually cancelled because of snow after a couple of attempts to stage it.

Isles said: “We have had a bad winter and the players are eager to get playing again after a long break.

“I am very happy with the response. We got off to a very slow start to the season but things were picking up towards the end of 2010.”

Isles had 62 pairs for the corresponding Crosland Heath event last season and said a bigger test of the Alliance’s popularity would come in the following event, held at nine hole Longley Park on March 8.

There will be four more events after that - at West End on March 24, Bradley Hall on April 5, Todmorden (Ronnie Parkinson Trophy) on April 19 and Meltham (Page Trophy) on May 3.

Ten professionals are set to take part at Crosland Heath with Gareth Evans, Rob Booth and Chris Hanson set to resume their battle at the top of the order of merit.

Meanwhile, Isles has confirmed a date of Monday, October 10 for the local Alliance to stage the national event at Crosland Heath.

Areas host the event for two years in succession and Halifax-Huddersfield did the job successfully at Halifax Golf Club last autumn.

Isles believes neighbours Bradford could be added to this year’s entrants.

He is seeking sponsors for the event and can be contacted on 01484 329328.