UNION officials are on alert to get more entries for the PS Cockroft Strokeplay Championship.

It’s one of the Halifax, Huddersfield majors but only 31 low-handicap players had entered by the original closing date of July 4.

That wasn’t even enough even to stage qualifiers for the Matchplay championship, where the top 32 from the PS Cockroft go forward to a knockout to determine the Union Champion.

It would also have meant a £1,000 shortfall for the Union on previous years, with knock-on effects after lower than normal entries in the Seniors Championship (costing the governing body around £180) and the Junior Strokeplay (£80).

The whole scenario has been causing Union president Richard Kaye – whose own club Bradley Park stage the PS Cockroft this year on July 31 – and his Executive great concern.

Since notices went out to clubs highlighting the problem, more entries have been received for the Strokeplay, but players still have until a week on Monday (July 18) to put their names forward with a £20 entry fee to Union competitions secretary Barry Suddick.

“We typically get between 70 and 80 entries for the PS Cockroft but, for some reason this year, numbers were well down when the closing date arrived,” explained Suddick.

“It was decided to notify clubs of the situation and extend the entry period by two weeks to July 18 and, even in the last few days, we’ve had some more people come forward and we are getting towards the 50 mark.

“We are obviously hoping to get up to something like the usual numbers and those interested should get in touch with me as soon as possible.”

So why have numbers dropped in the various competitions and, particularly, in the flagship PS Cockroft?

“We know all clubs and individuals are encountering difficulties and finding it tougher economically, so that could be an issue,” he added.

“Maybe the fact another of our majors, the Union Scratch Team Championship, is the previous week at Halifax (Ogden), again over 36 holes, is a factor – we don’t really know.

“But it’s important we keep these entries up because every club in the Union benefits.

“We run on a tight budget for the quality of competitions we put on and money generated through the year goes back into the clubs through free junior coaching and the like.”

Suddick can be contacted on 07815 312810 or at baz007@hushmail.com

The Union team are in action tomorrow against the Leeds Union at Halifax West End.

Team: Nick Marsh (Elland), Iain Powell (Hebden Bridge), Dave Stafford (Halifax WE), Chris Ingham (Halifax WE), Steve Martin (Halifax WE), Frank Greaves (Halifax WE), Mark Birkett (Halifax), Aaron Schnacke (Huddersfield), Brad Tupman (Huddersfield), Mathew Colcombe (Longley Park), Ben Adamson (Crow Nest Park), Andy Shaw (Huddersfield).