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

SMPT provide a feast of bowls

All roads lead to Essex this weekend for one of the season’s biggest events as the UK Open and the SMPT Bowls Trader World Cup take place at the Falcon Bowling and Social Club in Chelmsford. Nine Norfolk players will take to the mats for the UK Open, played over two days, and hopes will be high that one of them will lift the trophy. Wymondham’s Chris Mann has tasted success before in SMPT events and the draw has been kind to him, realistically he should dominate Group 32. His Wymondham team-mate Jack Pye, SMPT World Ranked number 7, is always a solid achiever in SMPT events and he will fancy his chances this weekend. Jack is drawn in Group 28 and should qualify from the group in a top two place with Welsh player Andrew Evans. Hempnall’s Neil Davidson has an incredible record in Norfolk Singles Championship events and is in Group 21 where Michael Ivings is the other big fish. Neil is determined to transfer his Norfolk success to the big stage. Simon Warnes of Horsford BC will be keen to make his mark as a singles player and stands a good chance of qualifying from Group 8. Young Connaught bowler Jack Marshall will find that matches against Matt Dillon and Chris Coates of England, and Irish ace Gary McNabb, will continue his bowling education as he continues to make it up the ladder. Karl Newby of Carleton Rode is in Group 14 and stands a fair chance of making it through while Wymondham’s Mark Linsdell is in Group 16 which is a difficult group to call. John Jeffery of Wymondham and David Blundell of Wortwell are drawn together in Group 5 where Mitchell Young & Keith Lackford are the ones to watch. Defending champion Sam Harvey of Wales is in a tough looking Group 10 that also includes England’s Dom Reed and Sweden’s Christer Nordin. Reed and Nordin meet in the opening game at 9am on Saturday. One thing for sure is that players taking part will once again experience playing in a superbly organised event by the SMPT who have set the bar high. The SMPT Bowls Trader World Cup is played on Friday. The England team is made up of Nigel Nicholls, SMPT World Ranked number one Stephen Proctor, James Trott & Dom Reed. They open their campaign with a match against Norway at 1pm followed by a 2.30pm match against the Rest of the World team. Their third Group “A” game is against Scotland and they wrap up the group stage with what could be their hardest game against Wales. Group “B” is made up by Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Isle of Man and the United Arab Emirates. The semi-finals are scheduled to start at 6.30pm with Group “A” winners playing Group “B” runners-up and Group “B” winners playing Group “A” runners-up. The SMPT World Cup Final will begin at 8pm.

chris mann sized

  Chris Mann of Wymondham