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

Jack Pye claims maiden SMPT English Masters title

Jack Pye of Wymondham SMBC claimed his maiden SMPT title this weekend in Chelmsford at the Falcon IBC. He produced a brilliant display of bowls in the final beating Ireland's Glen Harvey 15-5, this after coming through a tight match against the current SMPT British Open champion Nigel Nicholls who's last two bowls he would want to forget handing the match to Pye by just one shot at 10-9. In the quarter finals he faced Saul Featherstone who had just put out Norfolk's Neil Davidson but this time Pye came out with a solid 13-6 win. The last 16 he faced a tough match against Wales' Jamie Stiles coming through by a slender 9-8 scoreline. The last 32 saw him play Northants premier singles player Edward Sawbridge with Pye underlining his Norfolk singles pedigree with a healthy 14-5 win which set him on his way to the title. Pye was drawn in a tough group with his first match on the "show mat" against 2016 winner James Bucknall but despite trailing early on he reeled off the remaining ends to secure a 12-8 win. His 9-8 win over Dom Reed proved pivotal in earning him qualification for the cup KO. Hempnall's Neil Davidson who nearly always does well in any singles event again had a good weekend winning all of his group matches with his biggest being 17-2 against fellow Norfolk bowler Andy Sindle. A superb 10-9 win over legend Steve McAlister in the last 32 looked like going deep into the tournament but like so often was undone in the very next match by Saul Featherstone by 8-7. Simon Warnes of Horsford BC made his debut SMPT and made light work of his group winning four straight matches and drawing his last taking him into the last 32 but was beaten by Essex premier bowler Mitchell Young 7-12 but Warnes can be pleased with his work over the weekend. Chris Mann of Wymondham had high hopes this weekend but a setback in his third group match saw him lose 10-13 to Sweden's Jonas Hager. His last group match Sunday morning saw him play under 18 national champion Callum Beale and it took a brave last wood of the match to secure Mann three shots for the draw to go through to the cup KO. His last 64 match however was against highy rated Steve McAlistar and the pair were involved in one of the best matches of the weekend with spectators commenting how good the match was to watch. A brilliant brace on the last by McAlistar forced a tie breaker where Mann rued missed oppourtunities going down 2-0. John Jeffery of Wymondham produced three wins in his group but was not enough to see him into the cup KO, his most notable win of the weekend was in the plate knockout beating Chris Page 11-8 but then went out to Norway's Tone Boe. Jack smpt winner

Jack Pye with the English Masters trophy, picture courtesy of the Short Mat Players Tour