THE Yorkshire EE Cockcroft Memorial Handicap competition has been replaced by a British Crown Green Bowling Mixed Pairs event for a second successive year.
The announcement was made by Huddersfield Bowling Association president Gerald Sykes, leaving some delegates disgruntled at the annual meeting of the Huddersfield Bowling Association.
The decision to scrap this year’s Cockcroft was made at a meeting of the newly amalgamated Yorkshire Association where delegates voted narrowly in favour of backing the Mixed Pairs event.
Last year, the dates of the Cockcroft were used to support the British CGBA Mixed Pairs competition in their special centenary year.
Huddersfield bowlers have dominated the Cockcroft in recent years.
Phil Sykes, of Waterloo BC, was runner-up in 2003, and the following year it was an all-Huddersfield final with Netherton Con’s Steven Haigh beating Meltham’s Craig Gant at Crosshills and District.
In 2005 Nicky White, of Thongsbridge CBC, beat Chris Mordue (Brighouse Sports) and in 2006 Gant was again runner-up, this time to Michael Sweeney (Morton Sports), at Pudsey BC.
Paul Sigsworth, of Netherton Con, will captain Huddersfield’s Inter-District side, which will be managed by Gerald Sykes, and the one-day event, hosted by Castleford District, takes place on Sunday, July 20.
Delegates also passed a rule change, proposed by Broad Oak and supported by Almondbury Lib, whereby young bowlers will now be able to play in this year’s Huddersfield league from the age of 12 years old – from the previous 14 years’ age restriction.
Life memberships were also presented to three great supporters of the Huddersfield Bowling Association.
Vice president Mick Harper, of Lockwood Con, was described by former Huddersfield president and friend Dougie Mellor as: “Always being a willing person to help out on final days and support our Association and he has gone about his duties with quiet authority.”
And after receiving his framed certificate, Harper replied: “This really is an honour. I’ve enjoyed all my life through bowling and I’ve made a lot of friends through the sport.”
Also receiving life memberships were George Fellowes, owner of Slaithwaite-based taxi firm Slawit and Golcar Cars, who have sponsored the league for several years, and long-serving league fixtures secretary Neil Hinchliffe who was ‘gobsmacked’ after being recognised for his 12 years’ service.
Special praise was also reserved for secretary and treasurer Jean Wrathall who is embarking on her 21st consecutive season in the post – longer than anyone else in the Association’s history.
Gary Senior, of Moldgreen Con, also joined the Association as a vice president.
The season gets under way on Saturday, April 12 (Drayton, Bamforth, Ingham and Beaumont Cups only) and the 2.30 start time remains.