SOME of the area's top bowlers have been left considering their next move after Halifax League officials felt unable to accommodate Brighouse Sports in the upper echelons of the league for 2011.
An end-of-season fall-out at Akroydon Victoria BC resulted in an estimated 25 bowlers leaving the Boothtown club and some of them have joined the Russell Way outfit.
Brighouse, who didn't previously play in the Halifax League, applied to join the Wednesday evening set-up for next summer and had asked to be accommodated at a level appropriate to the standard of their bowlers.
However, the Halifax League's management committee decided at Kingston BC on Sunday morning that with no teams dropping out of the 12-team top three divisions, the best they could do was allow Brighouse a place in Division Four.
Akroydon Victoria will continue to have teams in the top two divisions, although they have withdrawn their C team which played in Division Five last year.
Mark McGorlick, arguably the highest profile of the bowlers to leave Akroydon Victoria, had hinted that last year's first team might have to split up if Brighouse could not get into a high division.
He said yesterday: "I haven't spoken to any of the other players yet."
"It's a bit early to know what might happen - the information is just sinking in."
McGorlick, who captains Calderdale's home side in the Federation's National League, said the players who had left Vics would probably have a meeting to decide their next step but he didn't envisage anyone returning to Vics.
Bernard Megson and David Stansfield are other representative players to have left Vics and the former is tipped to play at Sowerby West End this year
The Halifax League's management committee met at Kingston BC on Sunday morning to formulate the leagues, the deadline for entries having just expired.
General secretary Peter Copley had earlier informed Brighouse that they were unlikely to have their request met.
Fellow league official Adrian Brier explained the decision to put Brighouse in Division Four saying: "We decided we couldn't accommodate Brighouse any higher because it wouldn't have been fair to anyone else.
"It looks like last year's Akroydon Victoria first team will have to split up which is a shame because they are a good set of lads."
There looks set to be a nett gain of one team with Brighouse's arrival offsetting the loss of one Vics team and Ripponden Park having entered a second team. Ripponden B will play in Division Six.
There are three new sides in the Thursday veterans competition- Bailiff Bridge and second teams from Harold Park and Sowerby West End.
The Wednesday League will start on April 6 and the Veterans League eight days later.
The league's end of season presentation evening will continue to be held at Elland WMC, home of the current league champions.
It had been suggested that the event, which is fairly lucrative for the host club, should be spread around with Pellon Club and Illingworth Liberal Club among the venues proposed.
However, league officials decided that Elland WMC was the most suitable due to its parking facilities and ability to cope with a large attendance.