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

Jack Pye among contenders for SMPT World Masters

Wymondham’s Jack and Debbie Pye are off to Belfast to compete in the SMPT World Masters event in Belfast on the 6th & 7th April where a winner’s prize of £1,250 is up for grabs. Jack will also play in the Irish Open 2 Pairs competition, with Somerset’s Karl Hudson, that is being played on Friday 5th April. Jack Pye, currently ranked number 12 in the SMPT World Rankings, will be considered among the serious contenders for the World Masters title and plays his opening game at 9.45am against David Sinton of Ireland on mat 40 at the Belfast Indoor Bowls Club. His second game will be at 12 o’clock against Paul Duff of Ireland before he faces Stephen Bainbridge of Wales at 2.15pm. His last game on Saturday will be against Gerard Conroy of Ireland at 4.30pm and his final group game will be against Esther Forster of Ireland at 9.45am on Sunday morning. Hopefully by then he will have earned himself a place in the main knock-out competition. Debbie Pye begins her first game at 9am on the Saturday against Martin McNicholl of Ireland, her group includes Tom Erik Johnson of Norway and Rob Ferguson of England. Defending champion Gary McNabb of Ireland plays in Group 10 and his opponents will include Khan Muhammad Amin of the United Arab Emirates and Jamie Stiles of Wales. James Trott of England is ranked number two in the world and he is drawn in group 35 which also features Irish bowler Ronnie Stubbs. World ranked number 1 Jonathan Payne of Belgium will be expected to finish top in group 11. World number 3 Stephen Gale is in group 14 and he will face stiff opposition from Shane West and Ricky Cochrane of Ireland and Arwel Morgan of Wales. World number 4 Nigel Nicholls of England will have no easy ride in group 16 where he will play the legendary Steve McAlister as well as Jorgen Karlsson of Sweden who is world ranked number 10. Also in the group are Chris Hopkins of Northants and Gunnar Frantzen of Norway who will be pushing for a qualifying place. This group is made up by Muhammad Ajmal of the United Arab Emirates who will find the competition stiff to say the least.  The draw has been kind to England’s Ed Sawbridge, world number 5, who should finish top of group 38. The game to watch in group 12 will be the one between 2017 champion Joseph Beattie of Ireland and Dimitri Payne of Belgium, both are serious contenders. Among the other leading contenders are Stephen Williams of Wales in group 17, 2016 champion Alan Paul of Ireland in group 5 and 2013 champion Gary Burke in group 2. Other top Irish players in the mix are Mark Beattie in group 23, P.J Gallagher in group 25, Cecil Dillon in group 33, Ray Stubbs in group 37 and Pauline Beattie who is in group 47 with Martin Harries of Wales. Yorkshire based Bronagh Toleman is in an all Irish group 24. Two other Irish bowlers to keep an eye on are Hannah Cochrane and Andrew Evans in group 42. Two English entrants who will be hoping to still be there in the closing stages are Stephen Proctor and Lee Toleman as will Sweden’s Joel Hager who is ranked just outside the top ten. 

jack pye 9 18 RS15

Jack Pye of Wymondham