Bradley Park  18 Sep 18

Very fine golf in testing conditions by retiring Alliance President Nick Hirst partnered by Brian Cassidy produced a winning 42 stableford points at the excellent Bradley Park golf course. The Pro-am was won by Bradley Park's Richard Law partnered by Dewsbury's Fergus Barron with 39 points.

First out in the mornings wind and rain were Richard Law and Fergus Barron (3) and James Ward and Martin Eagle (7) of Dewsbury District who despite having the worst of the weather returned the two best, and only sub-par, Pro-Am scores. Law and Barron dropped a couple of points on the front nine but in the drier late morning produced 4 birdies and no dropped shots for a total score of 39 points. Ward and Eagle had a more balanced card with 2 birdies in each half but more dropped shots on the back nine for a total of 37. Joe Lester and Martin Shaw (5) of Bradley Park, going out last, just missed out on the prizes due to failing to score on the last hole.

Both Am-Am prize winners started in the rain and were both 5 under par at the turn but the earlier starters, youngsters Ben Kay (4) and Harry Dews (16) of Bradley Park, dropped a shot on the back nine for a total of 40 points while starting an hour later Nick Hirst (10) and Brian Cassidy (12) of Outlane picked up a shot to take first place with an excellent 42 points. Just out of the prizes were John Vickerman (14) and Alan Hays (13) of Dewsbury with 39, Pete Newey (19) and Mike Dempsey (12) of Fixby and Chris L'Estrange (11) and Brian Thomson (11) of Crosland Heath on 38 points.

In a relatively low scoring competition with a median score of 2 over par there was just one net eagle scored by Mathew Russell (20) of Crosland Heath at the par 4 8th hole. The course was in really good condition with fast true greens but played from the back tees to some very tricky pins. The strong gusty wind made play quite difficult, particularly down-wind and keeping line clear of leaves on the green was virtually impossible. The light, squally, rain of the early morning cleared after a couple of hours but the wind remained strong and blustery.

Meltham 2 Oct 18

Another windy Alliance saw the Meltham course playing quite hard and this was reflected in the scoring. There was a good entry of 38 pairs and half of these were within 3 points of the winning scores.

There was a tie for first place in the Pro-Am with James Ward and Jonathan Binns (4) of Dewsbury District and Toby Garrett and Richard Hanson (5) of Crosland Heath on 41 points. Toby, playing on the course where he was natured as a junior, and Richard had a very tidy card spoiled by a blob on the 8th hole which cost them the win. The Dewsbury pair also had a tidy card brightened by a net eagle for Jonathan on the 13th. There was an eagle by Woodsome Hall assistant Adam Durie on the 11th and a net eagle by Graham Thornton of West End at the 12th.

The home club's Chris Holmes (8) and Roy Johnson (18) won the Am-Am with 40 points thanks to net eagle on the 14th by Roy. There were 3 pairs on 39 points and on count-back second place went to Andy Holmes (12 and Charlie Adams (13) of Meltham from Bradley Parks Ben Kaye (4) and Harry Dews (16) and Oliver Shaw (4) and Oliver Hague (11) of Crosland Heath and Bradley Hall. The Holmes / Adams back nine was boosted by a net eagle for Charlie on the 16th while Kaye / Dews lost out with a blob on the 7th. There were net eagles on the 1st by Tony Baier (15) of Meltham and John Clay (12) of Crosland Heath and Cliff Froggett (20) of Bradley Park had two net eagles, at the 14th and 17th.

The Meltham course was presented in fine condition, the greens being quite fast having been freshly cut and “ironed”. There was a quite strong Westerly wind of varying strength all day with drizzle and light rain in the morning and some sunny intervals in the afternoon..

Dewsbury 16 Oct 18

Scoring was very good in ideal conditions at the Pinnacle course with outstanding scores for all the prize winners.

First out in the morning were Dewsbury assistant James Ward and partner Fergus Barron (3) whose 46 points looked unassailable until 3 hours later it was surpassed by James's boss Nigel Hirst partnered by Dewsbury Captain Mike McGrath (13) on 47 points. Nigel commented that it was the best performance by an amateur partner he could remember at about 8 under net par. The winning Pro-Am card included an eagle by Nigel on the par 5 eleventh and 8 net birdies for Mike. The runners-up had 7 birdies for James.

It was evident that very good golf would also be needed to win the Am-Am with early scores in the 40's and a fine 46 points carded by Oliver Shaw (4) of Crosland Heath and partner Oliver Hague (11) of Bradley Hall looked a sure winner. However, last out Mike Dempsey (11) and Pete Newey (17), independent members from Fixby, came in with 47 points for the win. Pete had two net eagles at the consecutive par 5's to go with the pairs 7 net birdies. Oliver Shaw had a gross eagle at the 11th to go with their 8 net birdies.

In all there were 15 net eagles, 9 of them coming on the par 5's. The competition was played in near ideal conditions with a light breeze and occasional sunshine. The course was very good with the receptive greens having a good speed for this time of year, the ball rolling out very well.

West End 30 Oct 18

Remarkable scoring by the home club professional Darren Arber produced a winning score of 46 points with his partner Mick Holroyde (9), Darren's first Alliance win since 2014. Darren had 8 birdies and Mick contributed 2 net birdies and a fine net eagle at the long par 4 ninth hole. Continuing his run of a prize in every Alliance this season in 2nd place was James Ward partnered by Jonathan Binns (4) of Dewsbury District on 43 points.

An unbeatable score of 46 points was recorded by early starters Oliver Shaw (4) and Oliver Hague (11) of Crosland Heath and Bradley Hall who shared the scoring equally to record 9 net birdies and a net eagle for Hague on the 14th. For most of the day the next places were  held by scores of 41 until they were replaced from the last few groups. 2nd place eventually went to the winners of the previous Alliance Mike Dempsey (11) and Pete Newey (17), Independent Fixby, with 44 points which included 8 net birdies and 3rd place was taken by the Crow Nest Park pairing of Steve Hobson (9) and Ian Clarke (17) on 43 points.

The West End course has had a few changes since last year, notably the new ditch and pond short of the green on the par 5 seventh hole. The course was in fine condition and the greens were true and quite fast for late October and play was from the back tees. It was a quite cold day with a light breeze and fine until mid afternoon when light rail started falling.

Ogden 13 Nov 18

In quite difficult conditions the Am-Am was dominated by home club players with the win going to Jamie Smith (plus 1) and John Jennings (6) on 43 points which included 10 birdies. On 42 points were Michael Allison (3) and Oliver Allison (19) with 5 birdies and a gross eagle on the 1st hole. Michael is a past professional at Halifax and has only recently joined the club as an amateur. In third place was Mark Birkett (1) partnered by Bradley Hall's Chris Lander (2) on 41 points.

Dewsbury's Nigel Hirst won his second Alliance of the season, this time with Jonathan Binns (4) with 40 points. Tied in second place were Dave Delaney and Andy Whitworth (1) of Bradley Hall and Toby Garrett and Richard Hanson (5) of Crosland Heath on 39 points.

The Ogden course has recovered well from the summers drought and was complemented by the players for its fine condition. The morning saw sunshine and blustery showers, the afternoon dry and sunny although late cloud brought the temperature down. The wind was strong all day but moderating as the day progressed.

Crosland Heath 19 Feb 19

On a day of mixed weather there were some remarkable scores and a rare hole in one. With a full entry of 60 pairs, including 11 professionals the early starters had finished before the late starters got under way. The early wet and windy conditions eased as the day progressed but it got even colder at the end. The course was a fine condition, the greens being excellent having been cut on Monday and ironed on the morning of the competition. Quite a few pin positions provided a stern test of the putter.

The Pro-Am was very closely contested with scores in the range 37 to 40 points until at the very end Bradley Hall's Elliot Lister and Paul Caldwell (10) came in with 45 points for the win and Dave Delaney and Steve Sandie (5) carded 43 for second. The winners had an eagle for Lister on the 3rd and 7 net birdies with no dropped shots while the runners up had 8 net birdies with Sandie carding on all his shot holes.

In the Am-Am the early leaders were Scot Minto (1) and Joe Ratcliffe (7) of Hanging Heaton on 45 points and Peter Heywood (10) and Chris L'Estrange (11) of Crosland Heath on 43. They were soon joined by Brian Thomson (11) and Anthony Kendall (20) of Crosland Heath and Longley Park with 42 points. Thomson had a Hole in One on the 17th and by coincidence the only other recorded Alliance hole in one was by Kendall at Crosland Heath's 12th in the 2016 Alliance. Meltham's Sam Summers (5) and Mick Maude (4) then came in with a 45 which was later matched by Meltham's Graham McLean (1) and Damon Hansom (4) to be immediately beaten by an astonishing 49 points from Tim Hirst (11) and Michael Illingworth (14) of Meltham and Crosland Heath. Their score included 2 net eagles and 9 net birdies with no dropped shots. With 3 tied on 45 points a card countback relegated Summers and Maude to 4th on the back nine but we had to go to the last hole before 3rd went to McLean and Hansom and 2nd to Minto and Ratcliffe.

Hanging Heaton 5 Mar 19

Home club professional Gareth Moore partnered by Steve Leather (9) had a convincing win at Hanging Heaton Golf Club with a fine 43 points, Moore with 3 birdies and Leather with 4 net birdies and no dropped shots. Going out first at 8 am Joe Lester of Bradley Park partnered by Hanging Heaton's Sam Wilcock (5) set the target at 39 points and this was not matched until Nigel Hirst and Mick McGrath (13) of Dewsbury District, teeing off at 1 pm, came in with another 39 with Moore and Leather on the same time winning with 43. There were three pairs on 38 points.

The Am-Am lead was set by Crosland Heath's Ian Wallis (6) and Steve Hitchenor (8) who returned a score of 39 points with a gross eagle for Wallis on the par 4 5th and a birdy at the same hole second time round. 2 ½ hours later Crow Nest Park's Mark Campbell (8) and his son Jacob (3) came in with the winning score of 42 points with 6 net birdies and no dropped shots. The last group out at 20 to 2 in the afternoon included the home club's President Andrew Snare (7) and Martin Scargill (9) who's 39 points gave them 4 the place on countback. Their playing partners Oliver Shaw (4) and Oliver Hague (11) of Crosland Heath and Bradley Hall secured second place with 40 points.

The relatively low scoring, with only 4 net eagles and a median score of 37 points, indicates quite difficult conditions. The course was quite dry after the wet weekend but the greens, which had been hollow tined and sanded the previous week, were rather slow and inconsistent. Play was over the summer course off the back tees with mats optional on the fairways. There was a cool swirling wind with light rain showers in the morning but also generally sunny all day.

Outlane 19 Mar 19

There were some very high scores and close results in very good playing conditions at Outlane Golf Club. Following the downpour on Saturday it was expected that there would have to be a postponement but by Tuesday the course had dried out and was in excellent condition.

James Ward and Andy McMahon (5) of Dewsbury District held a convincing lead with 45 points, the highlight being an Albatross for James on the par five 7th hole. Having taken the driver off the tee he was left with 190 yards to the green and took a 6 iron for the blind shot only to not see the ball as the approached the green, it only being found after a fruitless search around the green. In the next to last group out Rob Booth had an Eagle at the 7th and after 14 holes was 11 under par on his own ball to eventually record a score of 48 points with his partner, the home club Captain, Bob Sharp (19) to take first place in the Pro-Am. Nigel Hirst has had his lead in Order of Merit reduced and is now just 2 points ahead of James Ward.

In the Am-Am there were several pairs in contention on 42 points until Crosland Heath's  Paul Crosse (7) and Doug Smith (20) came in with a fine 46 points. Doug, a past member at Outlane and quite successful on his few return visits, came on the card 15 times with 2 net Eagles and 7 net Birdies while Paul had a rare off day. They were almost caut by Pete Newey (17) and Mile Dempsey (11), independent members from Huddersfield G.C., only for Mike's par put on the last hole to stop short leaving them in 2nd place on 45 points. There were 4 pairs on 42 points. With just the Ron Parkinson Trophy to come the Club Championship lead is held by Dewsbury on 335 points with Crosland Heath and Outlane tied on 331.

The course was remarkably dry with very few wet places and the greens were in realy good condition. There was occasional drizzel and light rain with a light westerly breeze and the scoring was very good with only 3 scores not breaking par.

Longley Park 2 Apr 19

Back Nine Count-back Decides the Ronnie Parkinson Trophy.

The Ronnie Parkinson Trophy held at Longley Park Golf Club was won by Crosland Heath's Ed Pearson and Matthew Russell on 42 points with a back nine of 21 points from the holders Outlane professional Rob Booth and John Lawton with 19 and Bradley Park's Dave Mitcheson and Paul Kinghorn also on 19.

The early clubhouse leaders were Dewsbury's Michael Toon (12) and Andy McMahon (5) on 39 points with 6 net birdies. They were supplanted an hour later by Meltham's Chris Whiteley (6) and Jason Crossland (13) on 41 points with a gross eagle on the 1st and 7 net birdies. In the afternoon they were overtaken by the home club's Matthew Collcombe (1) and Adam Collcome (8) with a better back nine with a gross eagle on the 2nd and 5 birdies. The next 4 ball brought in the first of the 42 points scores by the Alliance President Ed Pearson (16) and Matthew Russell (20) of Crosland Heath with 8 birdies on the card and a back nine of 21. They were immediately followed by Dave Mitcheson (14) and Paul Kinghorn (20) of Bradley Park on the same total but with a back nine 19 with 3 eagles and 3 birdies on the card. This just left one 4 ball out containing the current holders of the Trophy, Outlane's professional Rob Booth and John Lawton (4) who also matched the winning total but with a back nine of 19 on a very tidy card with an eagle and 4 birdies and no dropped shots to take the Pro-Am prize.

With James Ward away at the EuroPro Q-school Nigel Hirst now heads the Pro Order of Merit by 7 points from James with just the Page Trophy to come. The Club Championship has been retained by Dewsbury District by the slenderest margin of 1 point from Crosland Heath and Outlane who tied for second place.

Longley Park was presented in excellent condition by the greenkeepers Matthew Collcome and his brother Adam and was very picturesque with a variety of trees in full blossom. It was a generally sunny day with a light breeze but quite cold under cloud cover. There was a short rain shower in the afternoon.

Bradley Hall 16 Apr 19

Ashley Johnson secured a convincing win in the Page Trophy with two sub-par rounds at Bradley Hall for a total of 137 off a handicap of 6. Second place went to Fergus Barron (3) with a score of 141 and the Colin H. Swain Trophy for the best professional went to James Ward on 144, all the top places going to Dewsbury District G.C.

The best morning rounds went to Ashley Johnson and Bradley Hall's Tim Kent (7) with net 68's followed by Paul Caldwell (6), Bradley Hall 71, Fergus Barron (3) 72 with 7 more in contention.

In the afternoon round Tim Kent fell away as fatigue took over but his equal 3rd place was a fine performance. Ashley Johnson returned a 69 to hold on the 1st place by a good margin from Fergus Barron who matched Jackson's 69 for 2nd place. James Ward's par round of 70 moved him up into joint 3rd  and 1st Professional, 2 shots clear of the home club assistant, Elliot Lister. Paul Savage (6) of Bradley Hall shot a 71 to secure the other joint 3rd place and take the best net afternoon prize, Tim Kent taking the best net morning prize and Jamie Smith (-1) of Halifax taking the best gross prize with a scores of 72 and 75 for a total of 147.

The Emmie H. Smith team trophy was won by Bradley Hall, Elliot Lister, Paul Caldwell and Tim Kent, with a score of 435, just one better than Dewsbury District.

The Bradley Hall course was in excellent condition and after the morning mist had cleared  the day was generally sunny with only a very light breeze giving ideal golfing conditions.

Dewsbury professional Nigel Hirst rounded off his long Page Trophy career with 3rd placed professional to take the Alliance Professional Order of Merit in his last season prior to retirement.

The 18 hole Roger Heap Memorial Trophy was won by Bradley Hall's Dave Mitcheson (14) with a net 77, won on count-back from Crosland Heath's John Clay (12).

We entered 2 teams in the “National Alliance” at Chesterfield Golf Club but although we enjoyed a fine days golf on a very good course we were not in the prizes.