"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson

Brilliant Best wins ESMBA Open Singles

Bob Carter & Norfolk star Gary Best won the ESMBA Open Singles to earn a place in the England team in the forthcoming World Cup in Sweden. In the final he faced Ben Pay and despite leading 9-5 after nine ends Best found himself facing a tense extra end play-off after a fightback from the Hampshire bowler. But it was Best who came out on top to earn himself a trip to Sweden after displaying superb form during the competition. It was very nearly an all Norfolk final as Hempnall’s Neil Davidson fought to the finish in the semi-finals against Ben Pay before losing by just one shot. In the other semi-final Gary Best beat Martin Simcock 9-4. The quarter-final stage saw Gary Best beat Cheshire’s England international Adam Smith 11-1 while Davidson beat Malcolm Follis 10-8. With an England place at stake the event attracted a strong line-up but the inclusion of a number of Swedish internationals has raised questions from some quarters, particularly as they were not named in the line-up published on the ESMBA website prior to the event. The staging of the World Cup in Sweden has not been without controversy with the World Council meeting voting to stage the event there against the wishes of Bowls Sweden. Certainly one question raised was if it was right that players not eligible to play in the World Championships for England should be in a position to knock out eligible ESMBA members in a competition where the winner earns a place in the England team in the Worlds. One thing for certain is that over the years some puzzling decisions have been made, and continue to be made, by the ruling body.

 Gary Best resize